University of Wisconsin–Madison

David Danaher
Professor, Slavic

Languages: Czech, Russian

Research/Language Interests: Václav Havel; culture of dissent in East Central Europe; Leo Tolstoy; ethnolinguistics; cognitive linguistics

Education: BA, American University, 1989 (Russian Area Studies/French Language and Literature) MA, Brown University, 1990 (Slavic Languages and Literatures) PhD, Brown University, 1995 (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Undergraduate Courses: Czech language (4 semesters: SL115/351, 116/352, 217/451, 218/452) LT224/SL424: Leo Tolstoy SL285 (Honors Program): Language and Worldview SL/HIST/POLISCI/GEO254: Introduction to Central Eastern Europe LT208 The Writings of Václav Havel LT207 Slavic Science Fiction in Literature and Film

Graduate Courses: SL802 Structure of Russian

Personal  Webpage:

About Me: I teach the Czech language sequence and also courses on Central East European literature and culture as well as on Leo Tolstoy and the structure of contemporary Russian (a required course for graduates students in our PhD program). Other research and teaching interests include cognitive linguistics, ethnolinguistics (the relationship between language and culture), and science fiction.

Selected Publications


David S. Danaher. 2015. Reading Václav Havel. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. [Published in Czech translation as Číst Václava Havla, trans. Stefan Segi, Argo Publishers, 2016.]

Adam Głaz, David S. Danaher, and Przemysław Łozowski (eds). 2013. The Linguistic Worldview: Ethnolinguistics, Cognition and Culture. Amsterdam: Versita. [This book is available via open-access publishing at]

David S. Danaher and Kris van Heuckelom (eds). 2007. Perspectives on Slavic Literatures.  Amsterdam: Pegasus.

David S. Danaher. 2003. The Semantics and Discourse Function of Habitual-Iterative Verbs in Contemporary Czech. Munich: Lincom.


David S. Danaher. 2015. “Ideology as Metaphor, Narrative, and Performance in the Writings of Václav Havel,” Slovo a smysl / Word and sense 23: 115-127.

David S. Danaher. 2013. “Ethnolinguistics and Literature: The Meaning of svědomí (‘conscience’) in the Writings of Václav Havel,” in The Linguistic Worldview: Ethnolinguistics, Cognition and Culture, eds. A. Głaz, D. Danaher, and P. Łozowski, 93-113. Amsterdam: Versita.

David S. Danaher. 2013. “Neklid transcendence: žánry Václava Havla,” Česká literatura 1: 29-50.

David S. Danaher. 2010. “An Ethnolinguistic Approach to Key Words in Literature: lidskost and duchovnost in the Writings of Václav Havel,” in Ročenka textů zahraničních profesorů 4, 27-54. Prague: Charles University.

David S. Danaher. 2010. “Translating Havel: Three Key Words,” Slovo a slovesnost 71: 50-59.

David S. Danaher. 2007. “Framing Václav Havel,” Slovo a smysl / Word and sense 8, 25-47.

David S. Danaher. 2007. “Cognitive Poetics and Literariness: Metaphorical Analogy in Anna Karenina,” in Perspectives on Slavic Literature, eds. K. van Heuckelom and D. Danaher, 183-207. Amsterdam: Pegasus. [Also published separately in Polish translation: “Poetyka kognitywna a literackość: analogia metaforyczna w Annie Kareninie,” Przestrzenie teorii, 277-298, Poznań 2006.]