David Flanagan

David Flanagan

Retired Assistant Professor, Department of Writing
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Honors Program
Faculty, Classical Studies


I've lived in upstate New York almost all my life. I attended Catholic schools throughout my youth, and after finishing high school I spent a year as a philosophy major at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, where I met my wife Louise. Most of my 20s were spent scuffling around, living on a commune on a farm owned by my wife's family, and working at a variety of low-paying jobs, mostly as a restaurant cook. When I returned to college, now as a music major, I was married and had a 3-year-old son, Nevin, but we made it through the experience somehow. I moved with my family to our beloved Ithaca in 1981 to complete a Ph.D. in musicology at Cornell. During my last two years at Cornell, I taught a first-year composition seminar on writing about music and completed a graduate seminar on teaching writing. Since 1988 I've taught English grammar and composition at Ithaca College. Just before I started teaching at IC, my second son, Tavis, was born. Although I don't pursue music as a profession, I still like to play my guitars, banjo, ukuleles, and the other instruments that litter my office at home. I occasionally write poetry.


  • grammar, usage, and prose style
  • nonfiction composition
  • Writing Minor coordinator


  • Ph.D., Musicology, Cornell University, 1990
  • M.A., Musicology, Cornell University, 1984
  • B.S. magna cum laude, Music Theory, Nazareth College of Rochester, 1981




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