David Palumbo, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the English Department at Emmanuel College. His area of specialty is eighteenth-century British Literature, though he teaches a range of classes that cover different literary periods and global perspectives. Dr. Palumbo challenges students in his classes to generate informed and critical perspectives on a variety of traditional and multimedia texts, and he encourages his students to use advanced reading and writing skills to communicate those perspectives to different audiences. His professional interests connect to his pedagogical goals.

Ph.D., Tufts University; M.A., State University of New York, Buffalo; B.M., Vanderbilt University

  • FYS1101 Periodical Culture-Then and Now
  • ENGL 1208 Persuasive Strategies and Rhetorical Traditions
  • ENGL 2101 English Literature I
  • ENGL 2102 English Literature II
  • ENGL 2106 Irish Identities
  • ENGL 2406 Rise and Fall of the English Novel
  • ENGL 2408 Modern British Novel
  • ENGL 2417 Literatures of the Black Atlantic
  • ENGL 3305 Satire
  • ENGL 3309 Characters of the Long Eighteenth Century
  • ENGL 4999 Jane Austen and the Culture of the Novel
  • HON 2201 Sympathy and the Institution of the English Novel

Full-length articles:

  • "Raillery and Satire in the Bathurst-Swift Correspondence.” Swift Studies, vol. 36, 2021 

  • From ‘Laugh[ing]’ to ‘Rayl[ing]’ with a ‘Few Friends’: A Modest Proposal as Private Satire.”  The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, vol. 59, no. 3, 2018. 

  • "Mary Wollstonecraft, Jonathan Swift, and the Passion in Reading." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 51, no. 3, 2011.

  • "Death Becomes Her: Figuration and Decay in Swift's Birthday Poems to Stella." The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, vol. 51, no. 4, 2010. 

Selected Conference Presentations:

  • “Jonathan Swift in Jane Collier’s The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting.” East Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Gettysburg, PA, Fall 2019.

  • “Mrs. Pendarves and Dr. Swift.”  East Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. In Washington D.C., Fall 2017.

  • “Jonathan Swift in the ‘Birthday Poems’ of Mary Barber and Laetitia Pilkington.”  East Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. In Fredericksburg, VA, Fall 2016.

  • “Putting ‘Lemon and Sugar’ in Swift’s Tub: Laetitia Pilkington’s Satiric Strategy in her Memoirs.”  American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Pittsburgh, PA, Spring 2016. 

  • “Raillery and Debt in Jonathan Swift’s Letters.”  East Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Newark, DE, Fall 2015. 

  • "Satiric Alenation: Friendship and Isolation in Swift's Circle"-Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Middletown, CT, Fall 2012.

  • "The 'Milk-sop[ped] Drapier': Satiric Intimacy through the Pastoral"-East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Baltimore, MD, Fall 2012.
  • "Satiric Mistranslation in Swift's A Modest Proposal and The Answer to The Craftsman-East-Central American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies in State College, PA, Fall 2011.
  • "Passion and Figuration in Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,"-UMass Dartmouth's Provost Lecture Series in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Fall 2009.
  • "Love, Death, and Murder in Jonathan Swift's 'On the Death of Mrs. Johnson,"-East Coast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Washington D.C. Nov. 2008.
  • "Sensing Death: Theories of Narrative Decay in Eighteenth-Century Studies,"-The International Conference on Narrative in Austin, Texas, May 2008.
  • "Sensing Inequality: the fair defect in Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,"-American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Portland, Oregon, March 2008.
  • Respondent to panel "Swift and His Circle V,"-American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Portland, Oregon, March 2008.
  • "Re-Thinking Empiricism: Sensible Decay in Swift's 'Birthday Poems to Stella,'"-Southeastern Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Auburn, Alabama, February 2008.

Dr. Palumbo researches and writes about how Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels and one of the greatest satirists in the English language, used his ironic perspective on human life to communicate with a number of women during his lifetime. But Dr. Palumbo complicates the value of this playfully aggressive perspective by introducing responses from a number of women, including Laetitia Pilkington and Mary Wollstonecraft, to Swift’s writings. These written responses, many of them interpersonal letters not intended for publication, show women actively responding to and modifying Swift’s irony as they create a space in which private rhetorical strategies enliven a world of gender-inflected politics. 

Dr. Palumbo’s most recent publications attend to the ways Swift adjusted his infamous public satiric perspectives to fit the more local political concerns of Ireland after becoming Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He has also started a research project that investigates how the Boston poet, Phillis Wheatley, personalizes a set of poetic forms to write her way from enslavement to freedom.