David L. Marshall, PhD

1417 Cathedral of Learning
Office hours: TBA


PhD, Johns Hopkins University


Assistant Professor

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, traced what he termed 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.  Currently, his research is focused on German intellectual initiatives.  Specifically, he is working on the intersection of rhetorical and political thought in Germany between 1918 and 1933, a second book that will attempt to discern both nineteenth-century points of origin and potential twenty-first-century continuations.

Although Marshall is an intellectual historian, he makes no firm methodological distinction between articulating the theoretical projects of the past and articulating one’s own theoretical commitments in the present.  Indeed, he thinks these two projects can be mutually constitutive.

Marshall is also strongly committed to working across disciplines.  Trained as a historian and specialized as a rhetorician, at the University of Pittsburgh he has made connections with Cultural Studies, English, European Studies, French and Italian, German, History, History and Philosophy of Science, History of Art and Architecture, the Humanities Center, Jewish Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.


  • Author: David L. Marshall, PhD


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.

Review Essays

Marshall, D. L. (2011).  “The Current State of Vico Scholarship,” Journal of the History of Ideas 72(1): 141-60.

Marshall, D. L. (2010).  “Intellectual History of the Weimar Republic—Recent Research,” Intellectual History Review 20(4): 503-17.

Marshall, D. L. (2010).  “Recent Research on Roman Rhetoric,” The European Legacy 15(1): 75-8.

Marshall, D. L. (2009).  “The Problem of Language in Early Modern Thought,” Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 27(2): 225-30.

Marshall, D. L. (2007).  “Early Modern Rhetoric: Recent Research in German, Italian, French, and English,” Intellectual History Review 17: 75-93.

Courses Taught


  • Rhetorical Process (COMMRC 0310)
  • Public Speaking (COMMRC 0520)
  • Rhetoric and Culture (COMMRC 1103)
  • Theories of Persuasion (COMMRC 1111)
  • Special Topics in Rhetoric: Where do good ideas come from? (COMMRC 1731)


  • Seminar in Rhetorical Theory (COMMRC 3317)