Dr. Davis Houck, Florida State University
Dr. Davis Houck’s research explores the rhetorical dynamics of the Black Freedom Movement in the United States. He is currently the Fannie Lou Hamer Professor of Rhetorical Studies at Florida State University. He’s worked extensively on how the media shaped the narrative of the kidnap and lynching of Emmett Till. That scholarship continues with his work on the Emmett Till Memory Project, a digital smartphone app designed to tell the story in the 21st century. Dr. Houck spent several years with co-author and editor David Dixon, unearthing parts of the civil rights movement that have gone missing, publishing three books on long-forgotten speeches from local leaders, including a book on the women of the movement.
Dr. Houck is the founder of the Emmett Till Archive. He is also a founding member of the FSU Civil Rights Institute, an interdisciplinary and community group that explores where policy, culture, and the past intersect with race on campus, in Tallahassee, and in the state of Florida. Most recently, working with high school educators in the Mississippi Delta, Dr. Houck created and endowed the Emmett Till Archive Fund to promote creative projects by high school students at West Tallahatchie High School in Webb, Mississippi.