David Marshall is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and Executive Vice Chancellor (Provost), at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He previously served for sixteen years as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and was the first Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. From 2005 to 2012, he also was Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science.
Marshall previously was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Yale University, where he taught from 1979 to 1997. At Yale, he served as Chair of the English Department, Director of the Literature Major, Acting Chair of Comparative Literature, and Director of the Whitney Humanities Center, among other appointments. He received his B.A. from Cornell University (Phi Beta Kappa) and his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University.
Marshall was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a Yale University Morse Fellowship. His research focuses on eighteenth-century fiction, aesthetics, and moral philosophy, the role of autobiography in the history of the novel, and the history of public education and liberal education in the United States. He is the author of four books: The Figure of Theater: Shaftesbury, Defoe, Adam Smith and George Eliot (1986); The Surprising Effects of Sympathy: Marivaux, Diderot, Rousseau, and Mary Shelley (1988); The Frame of Art: Fictions of Aesthetic Experience, 1750-1815 (2005), which was awarded the 2005-2006 Louis Gottschalk Prize for the Outstanding Book in Eighteenth-Century Studies; and Forgetting Fathers: Untold Stories from an Orphaned Past (2015).
His articles and essays, ranging from Homer and Shakespeare to Rilke and Coetzee, have appeared in numerous journals and collections, including English Literary History, Critical Inquiry, Representations, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Studies in Romanticism, the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, and Liberal Education. Marshall also has lectured widely on issues in higher education and public education, speaking at such venues as the American Council of Learned Societies, the Modern Language Association, and the Center for Research Libraries Global Collections Forum.
For over a decade, David Marshall has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Humanities Alliance, which advances national humanities policy in the areas of research, education, preservation, and public programs. As President of the Board of Directors from 2014 to 2018, he helped devise successful strategies to protect and increase funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Research Libraries.
Other professional service includes the Association of American Universities/American Council of Learned Societies Humanities Steering Committee, the PMLA Editorial Advisory Committee, the Eighteenth-Century Studies Editorial Board, the Modern Language Association Teagle Working Group on the Disciplines and Undergraduate Liberal Education, and the Board of Directors of the Telluride Association Summer Programs. University of California system-wide assignments include Chair of University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Advisory Committee, Chair of the UC Education Abroad Governing Board, Chair of the UC Washington Center Advisory Board, and Convener of the Council of Vice Chancellors.