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. Forthcoming. ‘Revolution with a “Human” Face: A Corpus Approach to the Semantics of Czech lidskost,” in Masako Fidler and Václav Cvrček (eds), Taming the Corpus: From Inflection and Lexis to Interpretation. NY: Springer.

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. Forthcoming. ‘Ideology as Performance in Power of the Powerless’, East European Politics and Societies.
David S. Danaher. 2017. ‘Fiction as Cognitive Simulation: The Motif of Doubling in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina’, in Anastasia Makarova, Stephen M. Dickey, and Dagmar S. Divjak (eds), Thoughts on Language: Studies in Cognitive Linguistics in Honor of Laura A. Janda. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2017.
David S. Danaher. 2017. ‘Konceptuální intergrace [Conceptual integration],’ in Nový encyklopedický slovník češtiny [New Encyclopedic Dictionary of Czech], P. Karlík, M. Nekula, and J. Pleskalová (eds), pp. 862-3.Prague: Lidové noviny.
David S. Danaher. 2016. ‘Ideologie jako performativní akt v Moci bezmocných [Ideology as Performative Act in Power of the Powerless],’ in Jiří Suk and Kristina Andělová (eds), Eseje o Moci bezmocných [Essays on Powerless of the Powerless], 257-262. Prague: Institute for Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

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.]