David Denny – Bio

David Denny, Ph.D.

David Denny, Marylhurst UniversityAssociate Professor
Media & Cultural Studies



Ph.D., Program in Philosophy, Literature and Criticism, Department of Comparative Literature, SUNY Binghamton.
MA, Philosophy, SUNY Binghamton.
BA, History, University of New Hampshire.


Lars von Trier’s Women, co-edited with Rex Butler, (Bloomsbury, 2016). Co-author of the introduction, “The feminine act and the question of woman in Lars von Trier’s films,” and author of the chapter, “A Postmodern Family Romance: Antichrist”.

“An Alternative to the End of the World: Melancholia” in Cinematic Cuts: Theorizing Film Endings, ed., Sheila Kunkle (SUNY Press, 2016)

“Sex, Food, Sustainability,” Elohi Gadugi Journal, Winter 2014

“The Politics of Enjoyment: A reading of The Hurt Locker,” Theory and Event – volume 14, Issue 1, 2011.

“Signifying Grace: a reading of Lars Von Trier’s Dogville,” International Journal of Zizek Studies, Zizek and Cinema, volume 1, No. 3, 2007.


“On the Unbearable Abjection of Freedom: The Act of Killing,” Lack Conference: Psychoanalysis and Freedom, Colorado College, April 22-24, 2016.

“A Postmodern Family Romance: Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist,” The International Zizek Studies Conference, University of Cincinnati, April 4-6, 2014.

“From the Reality of War to the Real of War in Restrepo,” The Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference (SCMS), Seattle, March 19-23, 2014.

“Sex, Food, and Sustainability,” New York University, Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), June 20-24, 2012.

“Sustainability as Fetish; or a Plea for the Political,” University of Montana, Missoula, Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS), June, 2011.

“The Politics of Enjoyment:  A reading of ‘The Hurt Locker’”, Rutgers University, Association of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (APCS), November, 2009.

“ ‘The Pleasure in Making Suffer’: Or, The Biopolitics of Enjoyment,” Harvard University, American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA),  March 26-28, 2009.

“The Sovereign Decision as Fantasy in Lars Von Trier’s ‘Manderlay’”, Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (ASLCH), Berkeley, CA, March 2008

“The Sovereign Decision as Fantasy in Lars Von Trier’s ‘Manderlay’”, Rutgers University, Association of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (APCS), November, 2007.

“Signifying Grace: A reading of Lars Von Trier’s ‘Dogville’”,  Georgetown Law School,  Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (ASLCH), March 23-24, 2007.

“Transgression or Transference? The films of Lars Von Trier,” Rutgers University,  Association of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (APCS), November 3-5, 2005.

“Multiculturalism as Ideology,” Faculty Colloquium at Marylhurst University, February, 2001.


Forgetful Memory, or Reflections on Catastrophic Time: Nietzsche, Camus, and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.

Teaching Experience (the past four years)

War and Culture
Modernity and Melancholia
Film Theory
Violence and Representation
Psychoanalysis and Film
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Contemporary Political Thought
Literary and Critical Theory
Ethics and Social Issues
The War on Terror
Love and Sexuality
Psychoanalysis and Culture
Nature, Technology, Culture
Ethics and the Political
Major Thinkers: Lacan/Foucault

University Service

Faculty Senate President, 2014-16.
Hiring committee for the VP of Enrollment Management, Fall 2016.
Co-chair of the Academic Strategic Council, which was tasked with the writing of a Master Academic Plan, 2015-2016.
Chair, hiring committee for two faculty positions in the Interdisciplinary Department, Fall 2015.
Hiring committee for Provost, Spring, 2014.
Chair Curriculum Committee, 2008-2014.
Member Liberal Art Task force that restructured requirements for the Liberal Arts Core, 2010-11.
Member of the Global Issues core values task force, 2009.
Member of the Curriculum Committee, 2003-2008.
Chair of a daytime learning task force to create innovative, multi-disciplinary course work to attract more traditional aged students to campus, 2007-08.
Oversaw an external review of the Pacific International Academy, 2005.
Panel organizer “The War on Terror and Beyond,” panelists included five Middle Eastern scholars from the Portland metro area. 3/2004.
Organized and moderated a panel discussion entitled “The Politics & Practice of Human Rights” on the Marylhurst campus. The panel consisted of a cross section of intellectuals and activists, including Dr. Bill Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International, USA, 5/2001


David Denny studied in the philosophy, literature and criticism program at the State University of New York, Binghamton, receiving an MA in philosophy and a Ph.D. in comparative literature. His interests are in critical theory, psychoanalysis, modern literature and philosophy, and film studies.