Marlo D. David
Assistant professor of English and women's studies
College of Liberal Arts
What do you do at Purdue?
I teach courses that cover a wide range of topics including gender in 20th-century American literature, black women writers, and black cultural studies for the English Department as well as courses in gender, sexuality, and feminism for the Women's Studies Program. My current research involves the study of black women in American society during the latter half of the 20th century, focusing particularly on representations of motherhood. I work with undergraduate and graduate students interested in research related to my fields of expertise.
Which woman has inspired you most? Why?
I am inspired by so many women that this question is difficult to answer with just one name. I find inspiration in different women based on the facets of life that I am facing at any particular time. Lately, I have been most inspired by feminist scholar-activist Angela Davis. I am inspired by her lifelong commitment to justice as well her willingness to take risks and speak on behalf of those commitments. I am inspired by her vast intellect, her prolific career as a writer, and her desire to see her academic contributions transcend the confines of the Ivory Tower.
What are your goals and experiences with mentoring or encouraging others?
Often we see someone we admire or we admire her accomplishments, but we have no idea what it took her to get there. Therefore, when I talk to students about their goals, I provide examples from my own life to describe how I made a particular achievement. My examples include professional and personal experiences, so that students see how I have successfully, and in some cases unsuccessfully, managed both of those aspects of life. I share with them my belief that success should be measured holistically, and I hope to inspire them to approach their professional and personal goals with integrity, warmth, and humor.