Davis Houck

Fannie Lou Hamer Professor of Rhetorical Studies at FSU

Davis W. Houck has taught thousands of undergraduates the joys of public speaking over the past 20 years. The winner of several teaching awards as well as many honors for his scholarship in Civil Rights rhetoric, public address, and the rhetoric of sport, Houck recently helped create the Civil Rights Institute at FSU; he’s also the founder of the Emmett Till Archives, housed on campus. A committed community activist, Houck has served as Board Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Bend, and works hard to honor the legacy of the Mississippi sharecropper-turned-activist, whose professorship he holds.

Guardian of the Flame Faculty Award, 2015
Faculty Website

Public Speaking in the 21st Century

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“Having Fannie Lou Hamer’s name attached to my work and Florida State University is inspiring and daunting,” shared Houck. “Inspiring because of the life she led in pursuit of justice and daunting because her fearlessness in the face of grinding and often lethal adversity sets an enormously high bar for anyone seeking to walk in her footsteps.”

Davis Houck, School of Communication professor, is one of the respected faculty members honored with this year’s award . . . a symbol of excellence that commends outstanding faculty members every spring, from each college, who have demonstrated dedication through their work and a commitment towards improving FSU.

Houck is one of the nation’s leading experts on Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder in the Mississippi Delta helped launch the civil rights movement. Houck helped create and lead the Emmett Till Memory Project, which developed a 21st-century digital historical record of the people, places and episodes associated with Till’s murder and legacy.

A Florida State University professor is leading an effort to bring to life and celebrate the powerful contributions of 1960s civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, while empowering youth through the art of filmmaking.