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David Youd

Ph.D. Candidate

Research Areas

Critical theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis; Latin literature, New Comedy, Apuleius and the Ancient Novel


I am a PhD candidate in Classics and Critical Theory. My work examines the structuring of aesthesis under various social configurations, and the capacity of aesthetic objects and occupants of interstitial subject positions to generate new formations within a social body by rendering visible, and thus thinkable, the possibilities obscured or ignored under prevailing modes of perception and thought. My reading draws on psychoanalysis, queer theory, and the Frankfurt school of critical theory to sound out moments of dissonance between a text's ostensible signification and its own aesthetic architecture. If my dominant interpretative frame is so far psychoanalytic, my guiding impulse is thoroughly Deleuzian, namely an attempt to trace lines of flight away from the authority of an author in controlling the use to which a text may be put, to draw out connections in a rhizomatic network which in no way resembles the unitary Meaning of the tree, and to allow textual encounters to grow into a mutual becoming.

Current projects include a rereading of the place of antisemitism in the Homeric excursus of Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment, and the politics of vomit in Aristophanes' Birds.

M.A., University of California, Berkeley 2018

M.St., University of Oxford (Merton) 2016

B.A., Utah State University 2015


"Getting Bronze in the Sun: Making Sense of the Remains of Plautus' Vidularia." Classical Philology (forthcoming)

"Orestes. Polymorphously Per-verse: On Queer Metrology," in Queer Euripides: A Re-Reading, edited by Sarah Olsen and Mario Telò (Bloomsbury, forthcoming)

“Figuring Lateness: Style and the Limits of the Archive in Apuleius’ The Golden Ass,” in The Before and the After: Archê and Avenir at a Time of Crisis, edited by Sean Gurd and Mario Telò (Tangents, Punctum Books, forthcoming)