by Savannah Deuer
Dr. John Davidson is a professor in Germanic language and film studies at The Ohio State University. He is also a faculty-athletics representative with the university and has been on the Sport and Society Board since February 2019.
Davidson has a wide range of responsibilities when it comes to the university and athletics. He has been the faculty-athletics representative for the university for the past five years, and the bulk of his job is to oversee the well-being of student athletes, particularly as it pertains to academia.
He also advises the president of the university and the athletic department on academic issues that impact athletes from a faculty perspective.
Davidson teaches film, literature and cultural theory for his home department. He is author of “Deterritorializing the New German Cinema,” as well as articles on ecological issues in film, representations of the radical right, coming to terms with the Holocaust and WWII, and the interplay of national and international impulses in the "New Europe." His current book project is tentatively titled “Cinema, Cars, Calling: The (Auto) Mobilizing of Work in German Film."
Davidson joined the Sport and Society board on the recommendation of Director Nicole Kraft, and has seen the vital progress that has been made since joining.
“The desire of the organization to conduct and support real research is so important to us really understanding the societal impacts of sports across the board,” he said.
Davidson said he sees intersections between sport and society quite often, being in his professional position, and frequently finds that there are more in-depth connections between the two.
“There are so many ways that sport is embedded in our society, social morays and attitudes have an impact, and we need to look at those connections more deeply,” he said.
When asked about the rising importance of mental health in sports, he spoke highly of this importance not only for student-athletes, but for all students.
As the issue of mental health in sports continues to gain attention, Davidson said he believes that more can be done for student-athletes.
“Athletics is such a high-stress environment at this level, and continuing to raise awareness of these issues in sports could bring about more societal changes,” he said. “I’m excited to see how we can continue to grow and utilize the Ohio State network in both alumni and athletics.”