David G. Farley

Associate Professor

I am an Associate Professor in the Institute for Writing Studies where I have taught since its founding in 2006. My research interests include travel and travel writing in the contexts of 20th century literary movements, especially Modernism, transnationalism, historiography, and the politics of seeing. I am particularly interested in the sociomaterial roots of mobility and the discourse of travel in a Global context.

My book, Modernist Travel Writing: Intellectuals Abroad, was published in 2010 by the University of Missouri Press and I have published articles and given presentations on a variety of twentieth figures, including Ezra Pound, E.E. Cummings, Rebecca West, Anton Chekhov, and W.B. Yeats. In 2013, I was recently invited to join the MLA Discussion Group on Travel and Travel Studies.

In my writing courses, I always focus on some aspect of travel in an attempt to engage students’ own experiences and identities, especially their experiences studying abroad during their time at St John’s. I use the travel text (both students’ own accounts of their various journeys and the writings of others) as an entrée to discussions of identity, culture, and politics.

My current book project takes a broader view of the travel genre. In “Travel Writing From Defoe to Sebald: Towards an Archeology of Perception” I seek to understand the ways that travel writing has shaped cultural, social, and political perceptions in specific historical and geographical contexts.

“Travel and Travel Writing”

“Mapping Your World”


Modernist Travel Writing: Intellectuals Abroad. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2010.

Book Chapters:

“Modernist Travel Writing.” in The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing. Ed by Carl Thompson. (May 2015).

“’The Pain of 40 Lashes’: Anton Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island and the Emergence of the Russian Prison System.” Politics, Identity, and Mobility in Travel Writing. Edited by Miguel Cabañas, Jeanne Dubino, Veronica Salles-Reese, and Gary Totten. (Forthcoming June 2015).


“E.E. Cummings: Intourist in the Unworld.” Spring: The Journal of the E.E. Cummings Society. 1.12 (Fall 2003): 86-106.

“’Damn the Partition!’: Ezra Pound and The Passport Nuisance.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship. 30.3 (Winter 2001): 79-90.

“Yeats and World Drama: The Goal of the Irish National Theater,” Yeats Eliot Review. 15.2 (Spring 1998): 12-18.

Book Reviews:

Rev. of Transnational Russian-American Travel Writing, by Margarita D. Marinova. Studies in Travel Writing. 16.3. (2012).

Rev. of Travel and Modernist Literature: Sacred and Ethical Journeys, by Alexandra Peat. Modernism/modernity. 19.1 (Jan. 2012): 216-18.

2012 “’Passport, please…’: Composing Bodies in Freshman Writing and Service Learning.”, Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), St Louis, Missouri.

2012 “Where is the Center? Exploring Common Grounds and Practices between the First-Year Writing Class and the Writing Center.” Northeast Writing Centers Association Conference (NEWCA). St John’s University. Part of a panel organized with Professor Chiara Cillerai and student consultants from the University Writing Center.

2012 “The Pain of 40 Lashes: Anton Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island and the Russian Penal System.” International Society for Travel Writing, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

2011 “Comics in the Classroom? Graphic Novels, Graphic Memoirs, and Higher Education.” Center for Teaching and Learning and University Libraries. Round Table Discussion with Caroline Fuchs and Sophie Bell. St John’s University.

2010 “Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered: When the Best of Intentions Confront the Ugly Truth, or Inventorying Privilege in Community-Based Writing Center and Academic Service-Learning.” Northeast Writing Centers Association Conference (NEWCA). Boston University. Speaker/Panelist.

2010 “Bridging the Divide Between Community and Academia: College Expectations and the College Experience.” The New York Metro Area Partnership in Service Learning (NYMAPS). Strengthening Service-Learning Connections Across New York City. Bard College. Speaker/Panelist.

2009 “The Stillness Outlasting All Wars: Stasis in Modernist Literature.” The 11th Annual Conference of the Space Between Society. University of Notre Dame.

2009 “Imaging America Campus Compact.” Downstate Regional Meeting. Panel Discussant. New York University.

2009 “Academic Service-Learning and First-Year Writing Programs: Striving Towards a Fruitful Fusion.” Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). San Francisco. Half-Day Workshop.

2008 “MySpace/OurSpace: The Use of Blogs in the Writing Classroom.” SUNY Council on Writing: Inevitable Intersections, Writing at the Crossroads of Public and Private Discourses in the 21st Century.

2007 “Sustainability and the Writing Center.” Northeast Writing Center Association (NEWCA). Panel Presentation.