Assistant Professor, Literature and History of Technology
Office: 814 Strode
Research Interests: David Coombs’ research and teaching interests include Victorian literature; the history of science and technology; neurocognitive science and literature; and aesthetic theory. He received his PhD from Cornell in 2011 after which he spent a year as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Humanities. He is currently at work on a book examining the role played by Victorian literature in shaping the field of neuroscience during its emergence in the nineteenth century.
Selected Professional Works
Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)
“An Untrained Eye: The Tachistoscope and Photographic Vision in Early Experimental Psychology.” History and Technology 28.1, Spring 2012.
“Reading in the Dark: Sensory Perception and Agency in The Return of the Native.” ELH 78.4, Winter 2011.
“Entwining Tongues: Postcolonial Theory, Post-Soviet Literatures, and Bilingualism in Chingiz Aitmatov’s I dol’she veka dlitsia den’.” The Journal of Modern Literature 34.3, Spring 2011.
Conference Presentations (Delivered)
“The Victorian Bildungsroman and the Emergence of Neural Network Theory.” North American Victorian Studies Association, Madison, Wisconsin, September 2012.
“Unlearning to Read in Early Experimental Psychology.” Science, Mind, and Language, Cornell University, February 2012.
“Uncommon Sense: Aesthetic Democracy and the Neural Bildungsroman.” The Center for Humanities, Wesleyan University, November 2011.
“Beautiful Graffiti: Vernon Lee and the Semiotics of Perception.” North American Victorian Studies Association, Montréal, Québec, November 2010.