David Pike grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended Swarthmore College. After working for a year in Philadelphia, he moved to New York to study at Columbia University, where he received an M.A. in French and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. After two years at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia, he began teaching in the Department of Literature at American University in 1995. His courses include introductions to literature and to film as well as urban culture, cinema studies, modernism, and Dante. His books include Canadian Cinema since the 1980s: at the Heart of the World (2012), Metropolis on the Styx: The Underworlds of Modern Urban Culture, 1800-2001 (2007), Subterranean Cities: The World Beneath Paris and London, 1800-1945 (2005, shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association book prize), and Passage Through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds (1997, awarded the Gustave O. Arlt Award from the Council of Graduate Schools). He is co-author with his wife Ana M. Acosta of Literature: A World of Writing (2nd ed., 2012) and co-general-editor with David Damrosch of the Longman Anthology of World Literature (2nd edition, 2008), and has published widely on 19th- and 20th-century urban literature, culture, and film. He is currently at work on studies of subterranean settings on film, of the nineteenth-century underground after the nineteenth century, and of Cold War bunkers since the end of the Cold War.