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About me

David Cunningham's interests are in modernism, aesthetics, urban theory and the novel.

I am Reader in English Literature and Cultural Theory and have taught at the University of Westminster since 2002. I was previously educated at King's College, Cambridge (BA (Hons) First Class in English 1991), the University of Sussex (MA in Critical Theory 1993), and the University of Westminster (PhD in English 2002). Currently, I oversee the MA programmes in the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, and am Deputy Director of Westminster's interdisciplinary Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture.

I have been a decade-long member of the editorial collective of the journal Radical Philosophy and am on the editorial advisory boards of CITY, the Journal of Visual Culture and New Formations. In addition to my literary and theoretical interests, which focus on modernism and the theory of the novel, I have a longstanding interest in architectural and urban theory, and have also taught, lectured and published extensively in this field. My work has been translated into Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and Farsi, and has led to invited public talks at, among other places, the Architectural Association; British Library; Royal Academy of Arts; Whitechapel Gallery; Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid; MACBA, Barcelona; LOOP Contemporary Video Art Fair; Office for Contemporary Art Norway; and the Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen.


I teach the core MA module in Problems and Perspectives in Cultural Studies as well as the optional MA modules on Digital Cultures and Urban Cultures, which considers a variety of different cross-disciplinary representations of the modern metropolis and critically examines the divergent ways in which these understand the character of urban experience.

At undergraduate level, I have previously taught courses on the novel, tragedy, cultural and Marxist criticism, aesthetics, critical theory, modernism and contemporary fiction at Westminster.


I am co-editor of books on the German philosopher Theodor Adorno and on photography and literature, as well as author of numerous articles on modernism, aesthetic theory, capitalist culture and the novel. Currently, I am working on two projects: on theories of the metropolis and on capitalism and the novel.

I have also delivered conference and seminar papers at many international institutions including the Lebanese American University, Beirut; Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; NYU in Paris; Johns Hopkins, Baltimore; Penn State University; Birkbeck, Cambridge, Cardiff, Central Saint Martins; Chichester, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kent, Kingston, Manchester, Middlesex, Oxford, Newcastle, Sussex, Tampere, and UEA.

Research Students

I have supervised a number of PhDs, across a range of disciplinary areas, and would welcome applications from students wishing to pursue graduate research on the avant-garde, modernism, aesthetic and critical theory, or the relationship between urban and cultural form.

I am currently Director of Studies for Daniel Cartwright, working on 'The Oulipo and Philosophy', and Frankie Hines ('Anarchism in Contemporary US Literature').

PhD Completions:

Marijana Nedeljkovic, 'Ethics as Aesthetics in the Work of Danilo Ki'

Martin Dempsey. 'The Rhetorical Figure of the Administrator'.

Sara Dominici, 'The Democratisation of Photography and the Promotion of Tourism'.

Chris Daley, 'British Cold War Science Fiction'.

Jonathan Kemp, 'Executing a Media Materialism'.

Michelle Charalambous, 'Impotence in Samuel Beckett' (second supervisor) 

Paul Kendall, 'A Musical Ethnography of Kaili' (second supervisor).

Danilo Mandic, 'Noise, Resonance and Copyright' (second supervisor).

Douglas Spencer, 'Architectural Deleuzism' (second supervisor).

Jon Goodbun, 'Architecture of the Extended Mind', (second supervisor).

External Examining

External Examiner, MA in Aesthetics and Art Theory, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University (2007-10) and Kingston University (2010-11)

External Examiner, Masters Programme in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, University of Nottingham (2011-2015)

External Examiner, Masters in European Studies, University of Kent (2018-)

PhD external examiner for doctorates at Birkbeck, UEL, Goldsmiths, Leeds, Nottingham, Plymouth, Salford, Western Australia.

External advisor, ‘Poetry Beyond Text’, AHRC-funded research project at Universities of Dundee and Kent (2009-2011.)


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.