Haney, David P. 1952-

views updated

HANEY, David P. 1952-


Born December 17, 1952 in Minneapolis, MN; son of Joseph C. (a businessman) and Jean P. (a homemaker) Haney; married Lisa Baldwin. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Macalester College, B.A., 1974; State University of New York at Buffalo, M.A., 1979, Ph.D., 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Bluegrass music.


Home—911 South Minton Rd., Wilkesboro, NC 28697. Office—Appalachian State University, Department of English, Sanford Hall, Boone, NC 28608; fax: (828) 262-2133. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, musician, and educator. Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, instructor, 1978-80; D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY, adjunct English instructor, 1980-81; Nichols School, Buffalo, English teacher and dean of students, 1980-81; Cambridge School, Weston, MA, English teacher, 1983-88; Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, visiting assistant professor of English, 1988-89; Auburn University, Auburn, AL, assistant professor, 1989-93, Hargis associate professor, 1993-2000, Hargis professor of English literature, 2000-01; Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, professor of English and department chair, 2001—. Worked as a musician, tour manager, and booking agent, 1981-85.


Phi Beta Kappa.


National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend, 1990, Auburn University College of Liberal Arts summer research grant, 1991, 1997, Mortar Board Outstanding Educator, 1992; designated Panhellenic Council Outstanding Professor, 1997, Outstanding Graduate Program Officer, 2001.


William Wordsworth and the Hermeneutics of Incarnation, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1993.

The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 2001.

Contributor to books, including In Proximity: Emmanuel Levinas and the Eighteenth Century, edited by Melvin New and others, Texas Tech University Press (Lubbock, TX), 2001; The Ethics in Literature, edited by Andrew Hatfield and others, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999; and Autobiography and Post-Modernism, edited by Leigh Gilmore, et al., University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1994.

Contributor to periodicals, including Studies in Romanticism, Bluegrass Unlimited, European Romantic Review, and Southern Humanities Review.

Also author of numerous book reviews and conference presentations.


Essays on cognitive theory and hermeneutics; coediting (with Donald Wehrs) a volume of essays on Emmanuel Levinas and nineteenth-century literature; beginning a book on the relationship between interpretation and ethics.


Writer and educator David P. Haney has authored two texts on Romantic poetry in the nineteenth century. His 1993 book, William Wordsworth and the Hermeneutics of Incarnation, "brings considerable theological and theoretical resources to bear upon the linguistic dilemmas uncovered by post-structuralist analyses of Wordsworth," wrote John T. Netland in Nineteenth-Century Literature. Haney explores Wordsworth's statement that language should function as an incarnation of thought, in which "words move from the ideality of thought to become—for better and for worse—things and events in the world which are not simply separable from thought, but which must enter the realm of mortality," Haney wrote in the book's introduction.

Haney's analysis of Wordsworth's position brings him into contact with a number of important philosophers and linguists, including Derrida, De Man, and Saussure. "Haney's considerable contribution to Romantic studies is to bring the work of contemporary philosophers such as Levinas and Stanley Cavell to bear on the crucial issue of the nonrepresentational character of Wordsworth's poetics of incarnation," wrote Eric C. Walker in ANQ. "The book conducts throughout a sophisticated conversation with all major camps of contemporary literary theory," Walker wrote, in which Haney identifies in Wordsworth's incarnational poetics the collapse of semiotic structures such as the binary sign. Language, to Wordsworth, becomes concrete things and events rather than abstract signs.

Haney also offers new readings of portions of Wordsworth's work, such as the "Lucy" poems, and criticism of Wordsworth by a variety of sources. "One sign of the substantial contribution to Romantic studies that Haney's book offers is that, in the shadow of that imposing bulk of commentary and meta-commentary, he manages to propose important new ways to think about the violence that haunts those Lucy lyrics," Walker observed. Haney's "extended critique of Saussure, deconstruction, and representational theories of language demonstrates Haney at his best," Netland remarked. "He examines judiciously the ideological, philosophical, and linguistic implications of these views, recognizing what is at stake in these critical debates."

With The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, Haney issues "a call to scholars in literary criticism, philosophy, and culture studies to rethink the relationship between ethics and hermeneutics in more dynamic terms than usual," wrote Regina Hewitt in ANQ. According to Haney, "contemporary criticism is bogged down in an either/or reductionism; it endorses either an aestheticism that disconnects art from experience or a moralism that conflates the two." The type of binary opposition in contemporary criticism limits the effectiveness of the criticism. Haney's book "offers a plan to engage us more fully in critical dialogue" by "using passages from Coleridge's works to challenge the positions of the philosophers and reciprocally using the ideas of the philosophers to sound the depths of Coleridge's works," Hewitt wrote. Christopher Strathman, writing in Wordsworth Circle, called the book "a thoughtful and illuminating study" that "brings Coleridge's writings into a fruitful dialogue with the work of a number of contemporary thinkers" such as Gadamer, Levinas, Ricoeur, and Nussbaum. Virgil Nemoianu, writing in Review of Metaphysics, called The Challenge of Coleridge "a good example of uninhibited common use of the whole body of Coleridge's work with the purpose of positioning him in the historical flow of European thinking."

The arguments put forth by Haney are complex, Hewitt noted, and they "can make the book daunting to read," she observed, "but the difficulties are offset by clear prose, systematic organization (including cross references among chapters) and Haney's ability to communicate his enthusiasm for intellectual inquiry. Readers who meet The Challenge of Coleridge will be amply rewarded for their effort."



ANQ, fall, 1995, Eric C. Walker, review of William Wordsworth and the Hermeneutics of Incarnation, pp. 56-59; summer, 2002, Regina Hewitt, review of The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, pp. 41-44.

Criticism, winter, 2002, Paul Youngquist, review of The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, pp. 83-86.

Nineteenth-Century Literature, December, 1994, John T. Netland, review of William Wordsworth and the Hermeneutics of Incarnation, pp. 375-377.

Review of Metaphysics, March, 2002, Virgil Nemoianu, review of The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, pp. 636-638.

Wordsworth Circle, autumn, 2001, Christopher Strathman, review of The Challenge of Coleridge: Ethics and Interpretation in Romanticism and Modern Philosophy, pp. 181-182.