Laura Davis

Laura L. Davis, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of English
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Laura Davis, Ph.D., was a freshman at Kent State University when she witnessed the shootings on May 4, 1970. She became a faculty member at Kent State, team teaching “May 4, 1970 & Its Aftermath” with Carole Barbato, Ph.D. With Dr. Barbato, she co-created the May 4 Walking Tour and May 4 Visitors Center, through consultation with hundreds of members of the campus, public, scholars and design professionals and supported by funding from the Ohio Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Davis has provided many May 4 tours and interviews to students and the media and has appeared in documentary films on May 4, including Emmy-winner “Kent State: The Day the War Came Home.” Her collaborative May 4 publications include “Democratic Narrative, History, and Memory” and “This We Know: A Chronology of the Shootings at Kent State, May 1970.” Dr. Davis, Dr. Barbato and Jerry Lewis, Ph.D., worked with Mark Seeman, Ph.D., to have the May 4 site placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Dr. Davis and Dr. Seeman worked with colleagues Brad Keefer, Ph.D., Mindy Farmer, Ph.D. and Lori Boes to achieve National Historic Landmark status for the site in 2016.


May 4