David Davis, PhD

College of Arts and Humanities
Philosophy, History, Law, and Society
  • Associate Professor of History
  • Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Director, Graduate Programs, College of Arts and Humanities


  • PhD, History, University of Exeter
  • MA, History, Cardiff University
  • BGS, General Studies, University of Texas at Tyler

Courses Taught

  • Western Civilization I
  • Western Civilization II
  • History of the Ancient World
  • The Medieval World
  • Europe in the Middle Ages
  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • Tudors and Stuarts
  • Church and State in Early Modern England
  • Early Modern Europe
  • British History I
  • British History II
  • Western Culture and Human Experience III
  • Blood & Fire: Religion, Science, and Medicine, 1000–1700
  • MLA Thesis

Teaching Focus

Dr. Davis teaches Western Civilization and upper-division European-history courses. He specializes in medieval and early-modern European history, with interests in cultural and religious history, the history of Britain, and the history of science.

In 2013, Dr. Davis was awarded the Opal Goolsby Outstanding Teaching Award at HCU.  In 2016, Dr. Davis was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society for his contributions to historical scholarship, and in 2017 was awarded the Hardenberg Fellowship at the Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek in Emden, Germany.



From Icons to Idols: Documents on the Image Debate in Reformation England (Pickwick, 2016)

Seeing Faith, Printing Pictures: Religious Identity in the English Reformation (Brill, 2013)


“‘The Means of Justification’: A Catholic Letter on the Image Debate in Reformation Britain,” Reformation and Renaissance Review (2013)

“‘The vayle of Eternall memorie’: Sixteenth Century Woodcuts and the Representation of Queen Elizabeth,” Word and Image (2011)

“Images on the Move: The Virgin, the Kalender of Shepherds, and the Transmission of Woodcuts in Tudor England” in Journal of the Early Book Society (2009)

“Regarding Men: The Insufficiency of the Current Early Modern Witchcraft Paradigm,” in ERAS Journal

“Destructive Defiance: Catholic and Protestant Iconoclasm in England, 1550-1585,” in CROMOHS Virtual Seminars


“Godly Visions and Idolatrous Sights: Images of Divine Revelation in Early English Bible,” in Illustrated Religious Texts in the North of Europe, 1500-1800, eds. Feike Dietz, Adam Morton, Els Stronks, and Marc Van Vaeck (Ashgate 2014).

“English Printing Before the King James Bible: A Reconsideration” in The KJV at 400: Assessing its Genius as Bible Translation and its Literary Influence, ed. David Burke (Society of Biblical Literature, 2013).

Books Reviewed

Diarmaid MacCulloch, All Things Made New: Writings on the Reformation (Allen Lane, 2016)

Nils Büttner, Hieronymous Bosch: Visions and Nightmares, trans. Anthony Matthews (Reaktion, 2016)

Hugh Aldersey Williams, In Search of Sir Thomas Browne (Norton, 2015)

James A. Harris, Hume: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge, 2015)

Tarantino and Theology, eds. Jonathan Walls and Jerry Walls (Slideshow, 2015)

David Scott Kastan, A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion (Oxford, 2014).

Andrew Pettegree, The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know about Itself (Yale, 2014).

A Companion to the Early Printed Book, 1476–1558, eds. Vincent Gillespie and Susan Powell (D.S. Brewer, 2014).

Eamon Duffy, Saints, Sacrilege, and Sedition: Religion and Conflict in Tudor England (Bloomsbury, 2012).

Geoffrey Treasure, The Huguenots (Yale, 2013).

Jack Russell Weinstein, Adam Smith’s Pluralism: Rationality, Education, and the Moral Sentiments (Yale, 2013).

Andrew Pettegree, Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (Cambridge, 2005).

Amanda Flather, Gender and Space in Early Modern England (Boydell Press, 2007).

Luc Ferry, Learning to Live: A User’s Manual (Canongate, 2010).

Katy Gibbons, English Catholic Exiles in Late Sixteenth-Century Paris (Boydell & Brewer, 2011).

James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Regnery, 2011).

Jennifer Herdt, Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices (Chicago, 2012).

William Casey King, Ambition, A History: From Vice to Virtue (Yale, 2013).

Additional Information

Dr. Davis’s research focuses on the early history of printing in Western Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, particularly how books were used during the Reformation and how they can inform our understanding of religious culture and belief.  He has been involved with the British Printed Images to 1700 project and the British Book Trade Index online with the University of Birmingham (U.K.).  Also, Dr. Davis was awarded the Overseas Research Student Award Grant by the British government from 2006 to 2009.

In 2011, he has been asked to serve as a research advisor to the international project “The Transnational Production of Illustrated Religious Literature in Early Modern Europe” based at the University of Utrecht.


British Printed Images to 1700

The Actes and Monuments Online

British Book Trade Index

Emblem Project