- Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1979
- B.A., Cornell University, 1975
David Marshall is Professor of English and Comparative Literature. His research focuses on eighteenth-century fiction, aesthetics, and moral philosophy, as well as theater and the history of the novel and autobiography. He is the author of numerous essays (on such authors as Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, Lennox, Mackenzie, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Hume, and Rilke, among others) and four books: The Figure of Theater: Shaftesbury, Defoe, Adam Smith and George Eliot (1986); The Surprising Effects of Sympathy: Marivaux, Diderot, Rousseau, and Mary Shelley (1988); The Frame of Art: Fictions of Aesthetic Experience, 1750-1815 (2005), which was awarded the 2005-2006 Louis Gottschalk Prize by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies; and Forgetting Fathers: Untold Stories from an Orphaned Past. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he also has lectured widely and published on issues in higher education and public education.
Marshall is Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He served for sixteen years as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and was the first Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. From 2005 to 2012, he also was Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science. Before joining UC Santa Barbara, Marshall was a professor at Yale University, where he taught from 1979 to 1997. At Yale he served as Chair of the English Department, Director of the Literature Major, Acting Chair of Comparative Literature, and Director of the Whitney Humanities Center, among other appointments. He received his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University.
From 2003 to 2014, David Marshall was Chair of the University of California President’s Advisory Committee on Research in the Humanities, which oversees the UC Humanities Network. He was the Principal Investigator for the $12,775,000 University of California Multi-Campus Research Program and Initiative Award for the UC Humanities Network.
For over a decade, David Marshall was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Humanities Alliance, which advances national humanities policy in the areas of research, education, preservation, and public programs. As President of the Board of Directors from 2014 to 2018, he helped devise successful strategies to protect and increase funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Research Libraries. Other professional service includes the Association of American Universities/American Council of Learned Societies Humanities Steering Committee, the PMLA Editorial Advisory Committee, the Eighteenth-Century Studies Editorial Board, the Modern Language Association Teagle Working Group on the Disciplines and Undergraduate Liberal Education, and the Board of Directors of the Telluride Association Summer Programs.
Enlightenment literature, aesthetics, and moral philosophy; novel and narrative theory; autobiography; theater and theatricality; higher education and public education.
Selected Articles & Chapters
The Frame of Art: Fictions of Aesthetic Experience, 1750-1815 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).
The Figure of Theater: Shaftesbury, Defoe, Adam Smith, and George Eliot (Columbia University Press, 1986).
The Surprising Effects of Sympathy: Marivaux, Diderot, Rousseau, and Mary Shelley (University of Chicago Press, 1988)
Forgetting Fathers: Untold Stories from an Orphaned Past (State University of New York Press, 2015)
“Autobiographical Acts in Robinson Crusoe,” ELH 71 (2004)