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David Pike Professor Literature

Send email to David Pike
(202) 885-2996 (Office)
CAS - Literature
Battelle Tompkins - 237
On Sabbatical Leave AY 2020-2021. I'm available by appointment only, through email.
PhD, Comparative Literature, Columbia University MA, French & Romance Philology, Columbia University BA, Film, Literature & Critical Theory, Swarthmore College

Languages Spoken
French, Spanish, German, Italian (reading), Latin (reading)
Favorite Spot on Campus
My office and the tree and campus quad outside the window
Book Currently Reading
N. K. Jemisin, The City We Became; James Baldwin, Collected Essays; James McBride, Deacon King Kong; Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law
Professor Pike is Chair of the Department of Literature (June 2016-May 2022). His most recent book is Canadian Cinema since the 1980s: At the Heart of the World (U of Toronto P, 2012). He is the author of Metropolis on the Styx: The Underworlds of Modern Urban Culture, 1800–2001 (Cornell UP, 2007); Subterranean Cities: The World beneath Paris and London 1800–1945 (Cornell UP), shortlisted for the 2006 Modernist Studies Association book prize; Passage through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds (Cornell UP), recipient of the 1997 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools and a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 1997; and articles on medieval literature, modernism, film, neo-Victorianism, subterranea, urban fantasy, global urban culture, and Paris and London. He is co-author of Literature: A World of Writing and co-general editor of the Longman Anthology of World Literature. In addition to urban culture and the underground, he teaches courses on European and Canadian cinema, film noir, the western, modernism, Dante, Roman literature, and the novel. From 1993 to 1995, Professor Pike was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. Among his awards and fellowships are NEH Fellowships for College Teachers in 1999 and 2021, an ACLS Fellowship for Junior Scholars, and the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Contributions. Current projects include cold-war culture after the cold war, "Slum Lore," a cultural history of modern urban poverty, and “Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics, and Publics in the Late Capitalist City,” with Malini Ranganathan (SIS, AU) and Sapana Doshi (UC-Merced, Geography and Development), winner of an ACLS Collaborative Research Grant, 2017-2019.


Fall 2021

  • CORE-106 Complex Problems Seminar: Displaced Lives in the DMV

  • HNRS-150 AU Honors Exper Learning