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David Pike Professor Department of Literature

Send email to David Pike
(202) 885-2996 (Office)
CAS - Literature
Battelle Tompkins - 237
Tu 3-5 and W 3-5, in person or via Zoom (sign-up via the link on the upper right-hand of this page), and by appointment.
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
Sanora Babb, Whose Names Are Unknown; Marlon James, Moon Witch, Spider King; Raúl Homero Villa, Barrio-Logos; Perhat Tursun, The Backstreets
Professor Pike has taught in the Department of Literature since 1995. His most recent book is After the End: Cold War Culture and Apocalyptic Imaginations in the 21st Century, forthcoming from Manchester UP. He is the author of Cold War Space and Culture in the 1960s and 1980s: The Bunkered Decades (Oxford UP, 2021), Canadian Cinema since the 1980s: At the Heart of the World (U of Toronto P, 2012);  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, slum imaginaries, and Paris and London. He is co-author of Literature: A World of Writing ; co-general editor of the Longman Anthology of World Literature; and co-author, with Malini Ranganathan (SIS, AU) and Sapana Doshi (UC-Merced) of Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics, and Publics of the Late Capitalist City (Cornell UP, 2023).

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, an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for "Corruption Plots," and the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Contributions. Current projects include "Slum Lore," a cultural history of modern urban poverty.

For a not-so-recent-now profile, visit David Pike's Underworld.

For articles, book chapters, reviews, and talks (for individual research only), visit Publications Archive. The Cornell books are all also available through JSTOR.


Fall 2022

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

  • HNRS-150 AU Honors Exper Learning

  • LIT-446 Advanced Studies in Film: The Global Western

Spring 2023

  • HNRS-151 AU Honors Research Experience: Urban Change/Transnatnl Migrtn

  • HNRS-194 Comm Service Learning Project

  • HNRS-398 Honors Challenge Course

  • LIT-246 Cinema & the Twentieth Century

  • LIT-656 Advanced Studies in Form: Cinema