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Stephen Shapiro


MA, PhD (Yale); born and raised in New York State, my first degree was in Chemistry at Williams College. After deciding that my future did not rest in refluxing organic solutions, I went to graduate school in English. During that time I studied at the Department of Cultural Studies (Birmingham University, England) and briefly researched at the Gramsci Institute in Rome. In the months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I moved to (East) Berlin, traveled through the formerly Communist states, and took the trans-Siberian rail to Beijing. Returning to the US, I researched my dissertation, lived in the East Village (NYC), worked as a graphic designer, had some art installations exhibited, and became involved in AIDS activism (see the web site I created Destiny brought me back to the Midlands.

Before joining Warwick, I taught at Harvard University, the New School, and John Jay College for Criminal Justice (CUNY). I have also been a Fulbright scholar at the University of Saarland, Germany (1997-98). In 2008-09, I was a Royal Shakespeare Company/Capital Fellow in Creativity and Performance, and, in 2010, a visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine.

Research interests

My research interests focus on writing and culture of the United States, particularly the pre-twentieth century period; Cultural Studies; literary theory; marxism, world-systems analyses; urban and spatial studies, sociology of religion, television studies, and critiques of affect disturbances as social "problems in living". More broadly, late Enlightenment, 19 and 20/21C narrative. I have also worked with WReC (Warwick Research Collective), a group interested in moving beyond older models for literary and cultural studies. WReC web pages


For amore complete list of past and forthcoming publications, please see the top bar, right corner.

I am now working on two studies, a cultural study of social panics and religious energies, tentatively titled From Gothic to God: Paranormal Capitalism and Evangelical America, and The Anti-capitalist Foucault, an argument about the necessary interconnection between Marx and Foucault.

Recent collaborative projects include The Wire: Race, Class, and Genre (with Liam Kennedy), U Michigan P, 2012; an edition of Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman (with Philip Barnard), Hackett, (2013); a critical translation of The Productive Body ( Guéry and Deleule) with Philip Barnard, Zero Books (2014); and the Political Pamphlets of Charles Brockden Brown (with Wil Verhoeven), Bucknell UP (2015).

Forthcoming essays include one in The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center called "Do Not Resuscitate: The Zombie Class’s End-Of-Life Crisis"; one in Textual Practice on David Foster Wallace's The Pale King; another called "Realignment and Televisual Intellect: The Telepraxis of Class Alliances in Contemporary Subscription Television Drama" and another with the working title: “The World-System of Capital’s Manifolds: Transformation Rips and the Cultural Fix".

Shorter interview/blog pieces are here:

"Dandelions Against Neoliberalism" and "Cultural Materialism and Foxed Labor-power"

Teaching and supervision

The modules that I am teaching next year are:

EN336: States of Damage: Twenty-First Century US Writing and Culture

EN344: Representing Depression: Aesthetics, Insight, and Activism

EN942 World Literature and World-Systems: A New Model for Literary Studies

Past modules:

EN213: US Writing and Culture, 1790-1920

EN264: Explorations in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies


H528; email