David A. Shafer, J.D., Ph.D.
David A. Shafer is a specialist in modern and contemporary French history, with an emphasis on cultural history. He also has a secondary interest in the History of former Yugoslavia. His first – and at this point, only – book is The Paris Commune: politics, culture, and society at the crossroads of the revolutionary tradition and revolutionary socialism (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005). Dr. Shafer is presently completing a biography of French poet, writer, artist, surrealist, actor, theatre theoretician, substance abuser, recipient of 50+ electroshock treatments, Antonin Artaud for Reaktion Press’s Critical Lives series. His published articles span the French revolutionary tradition, aspects of the Paris Commune, gender imagery and revolution, visual representations of the Dreyfus Affair, the depiction of revolt in the Nazi film Jud Süss, and, most recently, an article that looks at Artaud through the lenses of (a secular application of) Saint John of the Cross’s “Dark Night of the Soul,’ Jim Jarmusch’s film “Dead Man,” and Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Nauséa.” Future projects include, tentatively, a study of the French conceptualization of California through film, literature, and theatre; a comparison of the plight of zoo animals in two cities under siege (Paris – 1870-1 and Sarajevo, Bosnia – 1992-5); racialized rhetoric and the paris commune: the discourse of alterity.