Dr David Cunningham

Reader

+44 20 7911 5000 ext 68965
32/38 Wells Street London W1T 3UW

I'm part of

English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies | Department

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 module on 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 am currently module leader and teach on the second-year module The Novel, which looks at the development of the novel in English from the eighteenth century to the present. I also teach on the third-year module Tragedy: Ancient to Modern. I have previously taught courses in the fields of 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 second supervisor for Frances Yeo ('Superflat, Superfast, Supercool').

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)

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

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

2016

Introduction: Photography and Abstraction (2016)
Beck, J. and Cunningham, D.I. 2016. Introduction: Photography and Abstraction. Photographies. 9 (2), pp. 129-133.
Renouncing the Single Image: Photography and the Realism of Abstraction (2016)
Cunningham, D.I. 2016. Renouncing the Single Image: Photography and the Realism of Abstraction. Photographies. 9 (2), pp. 147-165.
Genre without Genre: Romanticism, the Novel and the New (2016)
Cunningham, D.I. 2016. Genre without Genre: Romanticism, the Novel and the New. Radical Philosophy. 196, pp. 14-27.

2015

A Marxist heresy? Accelerationism and its discontents (2015)
Cunningham, D.I. 2015. A Marxist heresy? Accelerationism and its discontents. Radical Philosophy. (191), pp. 29-38.
Logics of generalization: Derrida, grammatology and transdisciplinarity (2015)
Cunningham, D.I. 2015. Logics of generalization: Derrida, grammatology and transdisciplinarity. Theory, Culture & Society. 32 (5-6), pp. 79-107.

2014

The Historical Novel of Contemporary Capitalism (2014)
Cunningham, D.I. 2014. The Historical Novel of Contemporary Capitalism. Raison Publique.
Rock as Minimal Modernism: Lou Reed, 1942-2013 (2014)
Cunningham, D.I. 2014. Rock as Minimal Modernism: Lou Reed, 1942-2013. Radical Philosophy. 183, pp. 69-72.
The Contingency of Cheese: On Fredric Jameson’s The Antinomies of Realism (2014)
Cunningham, D.I. 2014. The Contingency of Cheese: On Fredric Jameson’s The Antinomies of Realism. Radical Philosophy. 187, pp. 25-35.

2013

Unnoticed apocalypse: the science fiction politics of urban crisis (2013)
Cunningham, D.I. and Warwick, A. 2013. Unnoticed apocalypse: the science fiction politics of urban crisis. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action. 17 (4), pp. 433-448.
Here comes the new: Deadwood and the historiography of capitalism (2013)
Cunningham, D.I. 2013. Here comes the new: Deadwood and the historiography of capitalism. Radical Philosophy. 180, pp. 8-24.
Floating on the same plane: metropolis, money and the culture of abstraction (2013)
Cunningham, D.I. 2013. Floating on the same plane: metropolis, money and the culture of abstraction. Journal of Visual Culture. 12 (1), pp. 38-60.

2012

The spectres of abstraction and the place of photography (2012)
Cunningham, D.I. 2012. The spectres of abstraction and the place of photography. Philosophy of Photography. 3 (1), pp. 195-210.

2010

Capitalist epics: Abstraction, totality and the theory of the novel (2010)
Cunningham, D.I. 2010. Capitalist epics: Abstraction, totality and the theory of the novel. Radical Philosophy. 163, pp. 11-23.
Returns of the modern: on Nicolas Bourriaud's altermodern (2010)
Cunningham, D.I. 2010. Returns of the modern: on Nicolas Bourriaud's altermodern. Journal of Visual Culture. 9 (1), pp. 121-129.

2009

Propaganda architecture: interview with Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf (2009)
Cunningham, D.I. and Goodbun, J. 2009. Propaganda architecture: interview with Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf. Radical Philosophy. 154, pp. 35-47.
"Very abstract and terribly concrete": capitalism and the theory of the novel (2009)
Cunningham, D.I. 2009. "Very abstract and terribly concrete": capitalism and the theory of the novel. Novel: a forum on fiction. 42 (2), pp. 311-317.
Thinking the urban: on recent writings on philosophy and the city (2009)
Cunningham, D.I. 2009. Thinking the urban: on recent writings on philosophy and the city. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action. 13 (4), pp. 517-530.

2008

The death of a project (2008)
Cunningham, D.I. and Martin, S. 2008. The death of a project. Journal of Visual Culture. 7 (2), pp. 214-218.
Spacing abstraction: capitalism, law and the metropolis (2008)
Cunningham, D.I. 2008. Spacing abstraction: capitalism, law and the metropolis. Griffith Law Review. 17 (2), pp. 454-469.

2007

Slumming it Mike Davis's grand narrative of urban revolution (2007)
Cunningham, D.I. 2007. Slumming it Mike Davis's grand narrative of urban revolution. Radical Philosophy. 142, pp. 8-18.
Answering the question: what is to be done? (2007)
Cunningham, D.I. 2007. Answering the question: what is to be done? Radical Philosophy. 141, pp. 34-38.

2006

Marx, architecture and modernity (2006)
Cunningham, D.I. and Goodbun, J. 2006. Marx, architecture and modernity. Journal of Architecture. 11 (2), pp. 169-185.

2005

The concept of metropolis: philosophy and urban form (2005)
Cunningham, D.I. 2005. The concept of metropolis: philosophy and urban form. Radical Philosophy. 133, pp. 13-25.
The phenomenology of non-dwelling: Massimo Cacciari, modernism and the philosophy of the metropolis (2005)
Cunningham, D.I. 2005. The phenomenology of non-dwelling: Massimo Cacciari, modernism and the philosophy of the metropolis. Crossings: a counter-disciplinary journal. 7, pp. 137-161.
The futures of surrealism: Hegelianism, romanticism, and the avant-garde (2005)
Cunningham, D.I. 2005. The futures of surrealism: Hegelianism, romanticism, and the avant-garde. SubStance. 34 (2), pp. 47-65.
Asceticism against colour, or modernism, abstraction and the lateness of Beckett (2005)
Cunningham, D.I., Glover, D. and McCracken, S. 2005. Asceticism against colour, or modernism, abstraction and the lateness of Beckett. New Formations. (55), pp. 104-119.
Obituary Symposium: Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004 (2005)
Cunningham, D.I. 2005. Obituary Symposium: Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004. Radical Philosophy. 129.

2004

Notes on nuance: rethinking a philosophy of modern music (2004)
Cunningham, D.I. 2004. Notes on nuance: rethinking a philosophy of modern music. Radical Philosophy. 125, pp. 17-28.
Strangers in the city (2004)
Cunningham, D.I. and Goodbun, J. 2004. Strangers in the city. Radical Philosophy. 128, p. 38.
How the sublime became "now": time, modernity and aesthetics in Lyotard's rewriting of Kant (2004)
Cunningham, D.I. 2004. How the sublime became "now": time, modernity and aesthetics in Lyotard's rewriting of Kant. Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy. 8 (3), pp. 549-571.

2003

A time for dissonance and noise: on Adorno, music and the concept of modernism (2003)
Cunningham, D.I. and Goulimari, P. 2003. A time for dissonance and noise: on Adorno, music and the concept of modernism. Angelaki. 8 (1), pp. 61-74.
A question of tomorrow: Blanchot, surrealism and the time of the fragment (2003)
Cunningham, D.I. 2003. A question of tomorrow: Blanchot, surrealism and the time of the fragment. Papers of Surrealism. 1.

2001

Introduction (2001)
Cunningham, D.I., Goodbun, J. and Jaschke, K. 2001. Introduction. Journal of Architecture. 6 (2), pp. 107-112.
Architecture, Utopia and the futures of the avant-garde (2001)
Cunningham, D.I. 2001. Architecture, Utopia and the futures of the avant-garde. Journal of Architecture. 6 (2), pp. 169-182.

2016

Architecture, Capitalism and the "Autonomy" of the Political (2016)
Cunningham, D.I. 2016. Architecture, Capitalism and the "Autonomy" of the Political. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) Can Architecture Be An Emancipatory Project? Dialogues on Architecture and the Left Alresford Zero Books. pp. 87-105
Time, Modernism and the Contemporaneity of Realism (2016)
Cunningham, D.I. 2016. Time, Modernism and the Contemporaneity of Realism. in: D'Arcy, M. and Nilges, M. (ed.) The Contemporaneity of Modernism: Literature, Media, Culture New York and London Routledge. pp. 49-62
Architecture, the Built and the Idea of Socialism (2016)
Cunningham, D.I. 2016. Architecture, the Built and the Idea of Socialism. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) Can Architecture Be An Emancipatory Project? Dialogues on Architecture and the Left Alresford Zero Books. pp. 15-32

2014

The Ambassadors of Nil: Notes on the Zombie Apocalypse (2014)
Cunningham, D.I. and Warwick, A. 2014. The Ambassadors of Nil: Notes on the Zombie Apocalypse. in: Germana, M. and Mousoutzanis, A. (ed.) Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture: Post-Millennial Perspectives on the End of the World Routledge. pp. 175-190
Metropolitics, or, Architecture and the Contemporary Left (2014)
Cunningham, D.I. 2014. Metropolitics, or, Architecture and the Contemporary Left. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) Architecture Against the Post-Political: Essays in Reclaiming the Critical Project Routledge. pp. 11-30
Architecture and the politics of aesthetics: autonomy, heteronomy and the philosophy of art (2014)
Cunningham, D.I. 2014. Architecture and the politics of aesthetics: autonomy, heteronomy and the philosophy of art. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) The missed encounter of radical philosophy with architecture London and New York Bloomsbury. pp. 35-53

2013

Afterword: Communism, modernity and memories of the everyday (2013)
Cunningham, D.I. 2013. Afterword: Communism, modernity and memories of the everyday. in: Rabikowska, M. (ed.) The everyday of memory: between communism and post-communism Oxford Peter Lang. pp. 291-306

2011

The architecture of money: Jameson, abstraction and form (2011)
Cunningham, D.I. 2011. The architecture of money: Jameson, abstraction and form. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) The political unconscious of architecture: re-opening Jameson's narrative Farnham and Burlington, VT Ashgate. pp. 37-55
Global art, global modernity, global metropolis (2011)
Cunningham, D.I. 2011. Global art, global modernity, global metropolis. in: Parcericas, P. and Barriendos, J. (ed.) Global circuits: the geography of art and the new configurations of critical thought Barcelona ACCA. pp. 66-82
Capitalist and bourgeois epics: Lukacs, abstraction and the novel (2011)
Cunningham, D.I. 2011. Capitalist and bourgeois epics: Lukacs, abstraction and the novel. in: Bewes, T. and Hall, T. (ed.) Georg Lukacs: the fundamental dissonance of existence: aesthetics, politics, literature London and New York Continuum. pp. 49-64

2010

Kraftwerk and the image of modernity (2010)
Cunningham, D.I. 2010. Kraftwerk and the image of modernity. in: Albiez, S. and Pattie, D. (ed.) Kraftwerk: music non-stop London and New York Continuum. pp. 44-62

2009

El cuento de la modernidad: Poe, Benjamin y el relato de la metropoli (2009)
Cunningham, D.I. 2009. El cuento de la modernidad: Poe, Benjamin y el relato de la metropoli. in: Duque, F. (ed.) Poe: la mala conciencia de la modernidad Barcelona, Spain Círculo de Bellas Artes. pp. 43-78

2008

'We have our being in justice': formalism, abstraction and Beckett's ethics (2008)
Cunningham, D.I. 2008. 'We have our being in justice': formalism, abstraction and Beckett's ethics. in: Smith, R. (ed.) Beckett and ethics London Continuum. pp. 21-37

2007

Re-Placing the novel: Sinclair, Ballard and the spaces of literature (2007)
Cunningham, D.I. 2007. Re-Placing the novel: Sinclair, Ballard and the spaces of literature. in: Bavidge, J. and Bond, R. (ed.) City Visions: The Work of Iain Sinclair Newcastle-upon-Tyne Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 134-146
Living in the slashing grounds: Jack the Ripper, monopoly rent and the new heritage (2007)
Cunningham, D.I. 2007. Living in the slashing grounds: Jack the Ripper, monopoly rent and the new heritage. in: Warwick, A. and Willis, M. (ed.) Jack the Ripper: Media, Culture, History Manchester, UK Manchester University Press.
Architecture in the age of global modernity: Tafuri, Jameson and enclave theory (2007)
Cunningham, D.I. 2007. Architecture in the age of global modernity: Tafuri, Jameson and enclave theory. in: Beaumont, M., Hemingway, A., Leslie, E. and Roberts, J. (ed.) As Radical as Reality Itself: Essays on Marxism and Art for the 21st Century Netherlands Peter Lang. pp. 283-315
Architecture as critical knowledge (2007)
Cunningham, D.I. 2007. Architecture as critical knowledge. in: Rendell, J., Hill, J., Dorrian, M. and Fraser, M. (ed.) Critical architecture London, UK Routledge.

2006

A seam with the economic: art, architecture, metropolis (2006)
Cunningham, D.I. 2006. A seam with the economic: art, architecture, metropolis. in: Kuzma, M. and Osborne, P. (ed.) ISMS: recuperating political radicality in contemporary art: 1. constructing the political in contemporary art Oslo, Norway Office for Contemporary Art Norway. pp. 131-166
Making an example of Duchamp (2006)
Cunningham, D.I. 2006. Making an example of Duchamp. in: Jones, D. (ed.) Dada culture: critical texts on the avant-garde Amsterdam, Netherlands Rodopi.
After Adorno: the narrator of the contemporary European novel (2006)
Cunningham, D.I. 2006. After Adorno: the narrator of the contemporary European novel. in: Cunningham, D.I. and Mapp, N. (ed.) Adorno and Literature London and New York Continuum. pp. 188-200

2005

On surrealism and architecture (2005)
Goodbun, J. and Cunningham, D.I. 2005. On surrealism and architecture. in: Hardingham, S. (ed.) The 1970s is here and now Chichester, UK Wiley. pp. 66-69
Photography and the literary conditions of the surrealist image (2005)
Cunningham, D.I. 2005. Photography and the literary conditions of the surrealist image. in: Cunningham, D.I., Fisher, A. and Mays, S. (ed.) Photography and literature in the twentieth century Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 67-86

2003

Ex Minimis: Greenberg, modernism and Beckett's three dialogues (2003)
Cunningham, D.I. 2003. Ex Minimis: Greenberg, modernism and Beckett's three dialogues. in: Buning, M., Engelberts, M. and Houppermans, S. (ed.) Three dialogues revisited = Les trois dialogues revisites Amsterdam, Netherlands Rodopi.

2001

Trying (not) to understand: Adorno and the work of Beckett (2001)
Cunningham, D.I. 2001. Trying (not) to understand: Adorno and the work of Beckett. in: Lane, R. (ed.) Beckett and philosophy New York, USA Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 125-139

2006

Adorno and literature (2006)
Cunningham, D.I. and Mapp, N. (ed.) 2006. Adorno and literature. London, UK Continuum.

2005

Photography and literature in the twentieth century (2005)
Cunningham, D.I., Fisher, A. and Mays, S. (ed.) 2005. Photography and literature in the twentieth century. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Browse

Browse our directory to find staff profiles containing contact information, biography and list of publications.

Related links

Research strategy
Our University

Discover how the University of Westminster is organised and who makes the University tick.