David Simpson

David Simpson

Position Title
Distinguished Professor of English

261 Voorhies

Education and Degree(s)

Ph.D. Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1977
M.A. University of Michigan, 1974
B.A. Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1973


Professor Simpson joined the faculty of UC Davis in 1997, as the G.B. Needham Fellow; he received the G. B. Needham Endowed Chair in English in 2008. Previously he taught at Columbia, University of Colorado, Northwestern University, and Cambridge. His areas of research and teaching are Romanticism and literary theory. He is a member of the editorial board of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism and of Modern Language Quarterly. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Situatedness; or Why we Keep Saying Where We're Coming From (Duke U P, 2002), 9/11: The Culture of Commemoration (U of Chicago P, 2006); Wordsworth, Commodification, and Social Concern: The Poetics of Modernity (Cambridge U P, 2009); and Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger (U of Chicago P, 2013)



  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016.
  • ACLS Fellowship, 2010-2011
  • UC Davis Department of English Chair, 2002-2003
  • American Conference on Romanticism Book Prize for Romanticism, Nationalism, and the Revolt Against Theory, 1993
  • Wordsworth-Coleridge Association, President, 1989
  • University of Colorado, Faculty Fellowship, 1988-89
  • Research Fellowship, Humanities Research Center, Australian National University, June-August 1988
  • Fellow, National Humanities center, North Carolina, 1984-85
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1983-84
  • Research Fellow, Huntington Library, August-November 1971

Publications (selected)

  • Irony and Authority in Romantic Poetry (1979)
  • Wordsworth and the Figurings of the Real (1982)
  • Fetishism and Imagination: Melville, Dickens, Conrad (1982)
  • The Politics of American English, 1776-1850 (1985)
  • Wordsworth's Historical Imagination (1987)
  • Romanticism, Nationalism and the Revolt Against Theory (1993)
  • The Academic Postmodern and the Rule of Literature (1995)
  • Situatedness; or Why we Keep Saying Where We're Coming From (2002)
  • 9/11: The Culture of Commemoration (2006)
  • Wordsworth, Commodification and Social Concern (2009)
  • Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger (2013)