Janet Davis teaches courses in American popular culture, and social and cultural history. Her teaching areas also explore American foreign relations, animals, American social movements, transnational American Studies, and modern South Asia. She is the author of "The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top" (2002), which won an Outstanding Academic Book Award from Choice.
In her newest book "The Gospel of Kindness," she analyzes the relationship between the growth and development of the U.S. animal welfare movement and ideologies of American benevolence and exceptionalism from the Second Great Awakening to the eve of World War II. The project pays special attention to the religious dimensions of the movement, as well as its relationship to American expansionism.