David Walker

  • Visiting Emeritus Professor of English

Areas of Study


  • BA, Oberlin College, 1972
  • MA, Cornell University, 1976
  • PhD, Cornell University, 1979


My teaching interests center on 20th-century literature, drama, and creative writing. The courses I’ve offered recently include Crossing Borders (a first-year seminar), Modern British and Irish Fiction, Shakespeare and the Limits of Genre, American Poets Since 1960, Contemporary British and Irish Drama, and Modern Fiction and Sexual Difference. I’ve also offered a class on the fiction of Vladimir Nabokov, another class on James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and the playwriting workshop in the Creative Writing Program.

In 2011, I was honored to receive Oberlin’s Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2012, I was featured in the Princeton Review's The 300 Best Professors (Random House).

My publications include The Transparent Lyric, a study of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, and many articles about modern and contemporary literature. Coeditor of Oberlin College Press and the journal FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics until they ceased publication in 2019, I am also the editor of American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006), Poets Reading: The FIELD Symposia (1999), and A FIELD Guide to Contemporary Poetry and Poetics (revised edition, 1997).

I have directed the Oberlin-in-London Program seven times, most recently in the spring of 2020. (I've written a blog post about the program.)

I also codirect a London theater tour for Oberlin alumni every other June and I’ve blogged about that experience. In January 2016, I took a dozen students to London for a winter-term project focused on theater , and repeated it in 2018.

For many years I chaired the Oberlin-in-London Program Committee and served on the Creative Writing Program Committee. I also help administer Oberlin’s admissions blogs and other social media websites.

  • Crossing Borders (a first-year seminar)
  • Modern British and Irish Fiction
  • Shakespeare and the Limits of Genre
  • American Poets Since 1960
  • Contemporary British and Irish Drama
  • Modern Fiction and Sexual Difference
  • Creative Writing Program Playwriting Workshop

Princeton Review's The 300 Best Professors (Random House), 2012
Oberlin Distinguished Teaching Award, 2011


David Walker Chairs Panel

April 1, 2019

Professor of English and Creative Writing David Walker chaired a panel at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, on the history and legacy of FIELD magazine, which published its final issue this spring after a remarkable 50 years. The panel also included emeriti faculty members David Young and Martha Collins, and former faculty member Kazim Ali.