David Lachlan Marshall, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Communication
  • Associate Director, Humanities Center

David L. Marshall is an intellectual historian of early and late modernity.  He is particularly interested in the receptions and reinventions of rhetorical theory from the Renaissance to the present.  For him, rhetoric lies at the intersection of a diversity of theoretical interests: aesthetic, psychological, social, historical, political.

In the past, Marshall has worked extensively on Italian iterations of rhetorical thought.  His first book, Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2010) traces what he terms a “sublimation of rhetoric” in the work of the Neapolitan rhetorician, Giambattista Vico, who, the book argued, repurposed the terms and tactics of ancient rhetoric for what would later come to be thought of as modern forms of society.  His second book, The Weimar Origins of Rhetorical Inquiry (University of Chicago Press, 2020), is focused on German intellectual initiatives. Redescribing the Weimar origins of political theory in terms of rhetorical inquiry, the book offers fresh readings of pivotal thinkers and argues that the vision of rhetorical inquiry that they open up allows for new ways of imagining political communities today.

Education & Training

  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Representative Publications

The Weimar Origins of Rhetorical Inquiry (University of Chicago Press, 2020)

Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Marshall, D. L. (2013).  “The Intrication of Political and Rhetorical Inquiry in Walter Benjamin,” History of Political Thought 34(4): 702-37.

Marshall, D. L. (2013).  “The Implications of Robert Brandom’s Inferentialism for Intellectual History,” History and Theory 52(1): 1-31.

Marshall, D. L. (2012).  “The Afterlife of Rhetoric in Hobbes, Vico, and Nietzsche,” in The Making of the Humanities, volume 2, edited by Rens Bod, Jaap Maat, and Thijs Westersteijn.  Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Marshall, D. L. (2012).  “The Transformation of Rhetoric in G. B. Vico’s De nostri temporis studiorum ratione,” Italian Quarterly.

Marshall, D. L. (2010).  “The Origin and Character of Hannah Arendt’s Theory of Judgment,” Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy 38(3): 367-93.

Marshall, D. L. (2010).  “The Polis and its Analogues in the Thought of Hannah Arendt,” Modern Intellectual History 7(1): 123-49.

Marshall, D. L. (2006).  “The Impersonal Character of Action in Vico’s De Coniuratione Principum Neapolitanorum,” New Vico Studies 24: 81-128.

Marshall, D. L. (2005).  “Prophecy and Poetry in Vico’s Scienza Nuova: Towards the Manifold Quality of Time,” Bruniana & Campanelliana 11: 519-49.

Marshall, D. L. (2004).  “La Congiura dei Principi Napoletani di Giambattista Vico,” Napoli Nobilissima: Rivista di Arti, Filologia e Storia, 5th ser., 5(3-4): 105-20.

Marshall, D. L. (2003).  “Questions of Reception for Vico’s De Antiquissima Italorum Sapientia,” Bollettino del Centro di Studi Vichiani 33: 35-66.