David L. Clark, PhD

clark Professor of English and Cultural Studies
Location: Chester New Hall, Room 210
Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. 23737
Web Site:http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~dclark/


  • Research
  • Profile

Critical theory, Romantic literature and culture, German idealism, Post-Enlightenment Philosophy, Queer Theory

David L. Clark's research work began with the poetry and designs of the radical English visionary William Blake and with the intersection of contemporary critical theory, post-Enlightenment philosophy, and Romantic literary practice. Contemporary critical theory remains a principle concern, especially the later work of Jacques Derrida. Although he still considers himself an active Romanticist, his focus has shifted towards symptomatic readings of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century philosophy, notably the writings of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Schelling. Engaging philosophical texts as sites of conflicted desire, disavowal, and self-difference, his research and teaching addresses the complex imbrication of rhetoric and culture that quickens Kantian and post-Kantian thought, and in particular dwells upon the cultural excesses and conceptual remainders that trouble philosophical and theoretical narratives. His current project on Kant explores the bodies and pleasures haunting the philosopher's last published writings, while his work on Schelling discusses the unsettling role that resistant negativities play in the mourning work of German idealism. Other research foci include: philosophical articulations of animality and responsibility in Levinas, Kant, Derrida, and Heidegger; the rhetoric of "drugs" and "addiction" in Heidegger, Kant, de Quincey, and Schelling; the question of extraordinary forms of embodiment; the meanings of queer theory after the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. At the undergraduate and graduate level he primarily teaches courses in critical theory. For several years he has also offered courses (in both the Department of English, and, with Dr. Roy Cain, in the Health Studies Program) on the discourses of HIV / AIDS--a topic about which he has also supervised several undergraduate and graduate theses. A founding member of the Plurality and Alterity interdisciplinary research group (1991-7), he has twice been Visiting Professor at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism (University of Western Ontario). He is co-editor of and contributor to New Romanticisms: Theory and Critical Practice (1994), Intersections: Nineteenth-Century Philosophy and Contemporary Theory (1995), and Regarding Sedgwick: Essays on Queer Culture and Critical Theory (2002).