Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature
David Weir retired as Professor of Comparative Literature at the end of the fall 2014 semester. He began teaching at Cooper Union in 1986 as an adjunct assistant professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and became a proportional faculty member in 1989, at which time he also became a student advisor and the director of Cooper Union’s program in foreign languages (since discontinued). With his first book publication in 1995 he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, proportional. Shortly thereafter he became Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, continuing as director of foreign languages while also managing the Menschel Fellowship program. In 1999 he was promoted to Associate Dean before becoming Acting Dean, a post he held from fall 2002 to spring 2005. After having his fifth book accepted for publication, he was promoted to full professor in 2007. He has an international reputation as an expert on the works of James Joyce and on the culture of decadence. He taught courses in those two subjects at Cooper Union, as well as courses in linguistics, anarchism, orientalism, aesthetics, and European cinema.
His publications include:
Decadence: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)
Ulysses Explained: How Homer, Shakespeare, and Dante Inform Joyce’s Modernist Vision (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
Jean Vigo and the Anarchist Eye (Atlanta: On Our Own Authority! Publishing, 2014)
American Orient: Imagining the East from the Colonial Era through the Twentieth Century (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011)
Decadent Culture in the United States: Art and Literature against the American Grain, 1890-1926 (State University of New York Press, 2008)
Brahma in the West: William Blake and the Oriental Renaissance (State University of New York Press, 2003)
Anarchy and Culture: The Aesthetic Politics of Modernism (University of Massachusetts Press, 1997)
James Joyce and the Art of Mediation (University of Michigan Press, 1996)
Decadence and the Making of Modernism (University of Massachusetts Press, 1995)