David joined the University of Edinburgh in January 2015 as the inaugural Chair in Continuing Education and Head of the Office of Lifelong Learning. Prior to that he was Dean of the School of Humanities and Chair in Print Culture at the University of Dundee. He has also worked as an archivist at the National Library of Scotland, a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, a lecturer and senior lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University and held various senior positions at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
David is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Scotland, a Fellow of the English Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, editorial board member of Media History and the Victorian Periodicals Review, and editorial board member of the book series Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace (Pickering and Chatto) and Book Practices and Textual Itineraries (Presse Universitaire de Nancy). He is co-editor of the book series Journalism Studies (Sage), as well as co-editor of the annual Journal of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society. He also serves as a member of the Arts and Humanities Peer Review College, and has undertaken grant application assessments for the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
His research and teaching interests include print culture, media history,Victorian culture and journalism and film studies. He is co-director of the SAPPHIRE initiative (www.sapphire.ac.uk), dedicated to the study of Scottish print and publishing industries, which was awarded a Glenfiddich Living Scotland Award for its preservation and promotion of Scotland's cultural heritage. Current, ongoing projects include a cultural history of guano, research into nineteenth-century social networks and Scottish print trade union skills mobility, and a collaborative initiative with academic partners in six countries on transnational print trade migration, identity and skills transfer between 1840 and 1914.
The Office of Lifelong Learning