We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in Linguistics, Professor Daniel Altshuler.
Daniel joins us from Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA, where he was Assistant Professor of Linguistics and will take up a new role of Associate Professor of Semantics in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics at the University of Oxford next month.
His PhD was in Linguistics from Rutgers University, with a certificate in cognitive science. He was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Hampshire College from 2010-2011 and a visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Swarthmore College from 2011-2012. He then became an Assistant Professor of Semantics at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany before re-joining Hampshire College in 2015.
Daniel’s primary research interests are in the areas of semantics and pragmatics of natural language. His monographs Events, States and Times (based on collaborative work with Una Stojnić and published by De Gruyter in 2016) and The Syntax-Discourse Interface (co-authored with Robert Truswell and forthcoming with Oxford University Press) shed light on how compositional semantics interacts with discourse structure and discourse coherence.
Currently, he is researching how literary discourse motivates particular extensions of dynamic-semantic frameworks. In particular, he is exploring the phenomenon of imaginative resistance in fiction (with Emar Maier) and writing a new monograph on garden-pathing in the French novella Sylvie (with Dag Haug). The monograph is entitled Literature as a Formal Language (under contract with Routledge),which is an ode to Richard Montague’s pioneering work in the 1970s on the semantics of English.
Daniel has an active interest in developing pedagogical texts and projects that promote student- centered learning. Last year, he published his first textbook, A course in semantics, with MIT Press (co-authored with Terence Parsons and Roger Schwarzschild). A unique feature of this textbook is that it features many open questions in semantics that are easily accessible to undergraduate students. He hopes to explore these and many other questions with his tutorial students. Daniel says,
“I am delighted to join Jesus College because of the opportunities to interact with its outstanding literary scholars and scholars of modern languages. However, I’m most excited about the opportunity to work with MLL and PPL students.”
Away from his academic work, Daniel enjoys yoga, basketball, jazz and hip hop, photography, film and reading Absurdist literature - especially the work of Daniil Kharms and OBERIU, an avant-garde collective of Russian Futurist writers, musicians, and artists in the 1920s and 1930s.