Berkeley English Faculty

David Marno

David Marno

Associate Professor

419 Wheeler
12-2 Friday on Zoom; sign-up sheet here.

Professional Statement

Much of my work concentrates on the intersection between literature and religious practice in Renaissance literature and culture, in particular on the relationship between prayer, meditation, spiritual exercises, and poetry. I have published on religious and secular concepts of attention, on apocalypse as a literary and political figure, and on philosophy of history and comparative literature. My first book Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention (Chicago, 2016) interprets John Donne's Holy Sonnets as exercises in attentiveness. Donne's role in the history of English as a discipline has also generated my current interest in questions of institutional history, especially in terms of the relationship between calling and bureaucracy. 

The majority of the courses I teach in the English Department focus on early modern literature, religion, and theater. At Berkeley, I serve on the boards of the Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Designated Emphasis (REMS) and the journal Representations. I am also co-director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR). 

Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention
Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention

The seventeenth-century French philosopher Nicolas Malebranche thought that philosophy could learn a valuable lesson from prayer, which teaches us how to attend, wait, and be open for what might happen next. Death Be Not Proud explores the precedent....(read more)

English Department Classes