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Profile Information

David Coombs

David Coombs

Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Office: 813 Strode

Ph.D. English, Cornell University; M.A. English, Cornell University; B.A. English, Indiana University - Bloomington


Research Interests

David Coombs' research interests include Victorian literature; the history of science and intellectual history; and ecological approaches to literature. His first book, Reading with the Senses, examines the relationship between descriptive and empirical knowledge in nineteenth-century literature and science. His new project examines the ecologies and infrastructures of waste that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century, when new methods and scales of industrial production disrupted the longstanding economics of reuse and recycling, and enshrined cheap garbage as the cornerstone of a new culture of disposability. 


Selected Professional Works

Books (In Production or Under Contract)

Reading with the Senses in Victorian Literature and Science (University of Virginia Press, 2019).

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

“Description.” Victorian Literature and Culture 46.3/4, Fall/Winter 2018.

“The Sense and Reference of Sound; or, Walter Pater’s Kinky Literalism.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 72.4, March 2018.

“Does Grandcourt Exist?: Description and Fictional Characters.” Victorian Studies 59.3, Spring 2017.

“Dickens’ Resonance.” the b2o review. 4 October 2016.

“Descriptive Turns in the Victorian 21st Century.” V21: Victorian Studies for the 21st Century. 13 July 2015.

“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.

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