David holds degrees from the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, where his doctorate was supervised by the great Shakespeare scholar, Emrys Jones. He then taught at both Bristol and Oxford before moving to Japan, where he taught at the Universities of Kyoto and Osaka, and for the British Council.
David was Head of English at Birmingham City University for ten years before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Arts, Design and Media. During a five-and-a-half year stint he oversaw numerous projects including the opening of the new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the expansion of the multi-award winning Birmingham School of Jewellery. He was elected to a Fellowship of the English Association in 2010 and in 2013 became a National Teaching Fellow. Alongside his current teaching and research duties he serves as University Orator, writing and delivering more than one hundred citations for honorary doctors ranging from Lord Heseltine to Sir Daniel Day-Lewis.
He has published five books (four editions and one monograph) with Oxford University Press, two monographs with Cambridge University Press, a monograph and an edition with Methuen, and an edition with The Society for Theatre Research. His work has appeared in leading journals including Shakespeare Quarterly, New Theatre Quarterly, The Review of English Studies, and The Times Literary Supplement. Recent articles include a study of ethics and theatrical biography, a philosophical critique of work on games and teaching in the humanities, and essays on Shakespeare, Beethoven and Wagner. He has also published textbooks on writing, careers and games which are widely used in universities and schools.
David is strongly committed to supporting the arts and is a Trustee of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Mid-Wales Opera, and the Birmingham Hippodrome. In his spare time he writes fiction and programme essays for theatres including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.