David F. Bell
Co-Director, PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge
David F. Bell is Professor of French Studies in the Department of Romance Studies. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins in 1980, where he specialized in critical theory and nineteenth-century narrative. His first book, Models of Power: Politics and Economics in Zola's Rougon-Macquart, deals with narrative structures and political representation in Zola's series. His second book, Circumstances: Chance in the Literary Text, analyzes the function of chance in the realist narratives of Balzac and Stendhal. He has also worked on science and technology in nineteenth-century France, concentrating specifically on technologies of communication and their impact on the way people perceive space and time. His most recent book, entitled Real Time: Accelerating Narrative from Balzac to Zola, explores the importance of speed and communication in Balzac, Stendhal, Dumas, and Zola and was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2004. His newest research deals with the notion of tact as a discursive strategy. He also works on the concept of debt in nineteenth-century French literature. He is co-editor of SubStance.