Professor David Robey

Arts and Humanities Consultant

David Robey currently holds the position of Arts and Humanities Consultant at the Oxford e-Research Centre.  

He has been University Lecturer in Italian at Oxford and Fellow of Wolfson College, then Professor of Italian at Manchester, then Professor of Italian at Reading. He was President of the Association of Literary and Linguistic Computing and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's ICT in Arts and Humanities Research Programme.

He was Chair of the Society for Italian Studies  from 1998 to 2003, and served on a variety of AHRC, British Library, JISC, HEFCE and HEFCE-related committees or panels over the years, including the HEFCE Learning and Teaching Committee.  He was Chair from 1996 to 2002 of the Advisory Council of the Institute of Romance Studies, University of London, and more recently chaired a Sub-Committee on the Future of the London Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies.

He has published on 15th-century Italian humanism (educational and poetic theory), language and style in Dante and Renaissance narrative poetry, the computer analysis of literature, and modern critical theory. He was joint editor (with Ann Jefferson) of Modern Literary Theory.  A Comparative Introduction (Batsford, 1982 and 1986), and editor of Structuralism.  An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 1973). He authored a computer-based study on Sound and Structure in Dante's 'Divine Comedy' (OUP, 2000), and extended this work to include the major narrative poems of the Italian Renaissance, now in the form of a substantial on-line analytical database on 'Sound and Metre in Italian Narrative Verse' at He was joint editor of the Oxford Companion to Italian Literature (now translated into Italian as the Enciclopedia della Letteratura Italiana Oxford/Zanichelli), and joint author of Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012). 

With Peter Hainsworth, he is currently completing Dante: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015).