Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professor Stephen Shapiro

shapiro dept


Email: s dot shapiro at warwick dot ac dot uk


Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


I teach on the English and Comparative Literary Studies program. Born and raised in New York State, my first degree was in Chemistry. 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. Returning to the US, I worked as a graphic designer, had some art installations exhibited, and became involved in ACT UP/NY. 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. In 2010, a visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine and in 2015 back at Irvine as an University of California Humanities Research Institute fellow. During 2021-22, I was a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-apocalyptic Studies at the University of Heidelberg.

Research interests

I am currently working on The Cultural Fix: Capital, Social Labor-power, and the Long Spiral. This uses a reading of the bridge between the first and second volumes of Marx's Capital to resolve British Cultural Materialism with World-Systems theory. Other projects that variously take second pole are: From Gothic to God: Horror in America (an examination of the production of American gothic, including illuminati panics and their transformation into religious revivalism in the early nineteenth century); The Anti-Capitalist Foucault (a reading of Foucault's works of the 1970s as a supplementary history and critique of capitalism); and Neoliberalism, Digital Capital, and Media of the Intersectional Left (on these three keywords).

Two new 2022 essay collections are The Cambridge Companion to American Horror (edited with Mark Storey) and Decolonizing;the Undead: Rethinking Zombies in World-Literature, Culture, and MediaLink opens in a new window (Bloomsbury, co-edited with Giulia Champion and Roxanne Douglas).

With Sharae Deckard and Mike Niblett, I am working on World-Systems, World-Literature, World-Ecology (advance contracted with SUNY Press). A few shorter pieces on Un-noveling Lovecraft CountryLink opens in a new window, editing Charles Brockden Brown, and Frida Kahlo and Christian Petzold are in the pipeline for early 2022 publication.

My research interests focus on writing and culture of the United States; Cultural Studies; literary theory; marxism, world-systems analyses; urban and spatial studies, sociology of religion, and television studies. For a more complete list of publications, see this pageLink opens in a new window. For a curated list of videos from Occupy Wall Street, see this pageLink opens in a new window.

I have also worked as a member of WReC (Warwick Research Collective), a group interested in moving beyond older models for literary and cultural studies. WReC published its first collective findings in Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature (Liverpool UP 2015).

Teaching and supervision

The modules that I taught during 2020-21 are:

Selected publications

Recent Articles (from 2014)

  • “Algorithmic Neoliberalism’s Bonfire of Semiotics,” American Studies/Amerikastudien, 67:1 (2022), 17-19.

  • “Un-noveling Lovecraft Country,” November 2021, Post45 online cluster on “Literary Television”

  • “Collectivity and Crisis in the Long Twentieth Century” (co-authored as Warwick Research Collective)

    MLQ 81:4 (2020), 465-89.

  • “Speculative Nostalgia and Media of the New Intersectional Left: My Favorite Thing is Monsters” in The Novel as Network: Literary Forms, Ideas, Commodities, Tim Lanzendörfer and Corinna Norrick-Rühl, eds. (Palgrave, 2020), 119-136.

  • “Woke Weird and Cultural Politics of Camp Transformation” in The American Weird: Ecologies and Geographies, Julian Greve and Florian Zappe, eds. (Bloomsbury, 2020), 55-71.

  • "Algorithmic Television in the Age of Large-Scale Customization,” Television and New Media 21:6 (2020), 658-663.

  • "Caesarism Revisited: Cultural Studies and the Question of Trumpism” in Trump’s America: Political Culture and National Identity, Liam Kennedy, ed. (Edinburgh UP, 2020), 53-71.

  • "The Cultural Fix: Capital, Genre, and the Times of American Studies” in The Fictions of American Capitalism: Working Fictions and the Economic Novel, eds. Vincent Dussol and Jacques-Henri Coste (Palgrave, 2020), 89-108.

  • “Charles Brockden Brown and the Novel in the 1790s” (with Mark Kamrath and Philip Barnard) in A Companion to American Literature, Vol. 1: Beginnings to 1820, ed. Theresa Strouth Gaul, (Blackwell, 2020), 445-461.
  • “Foucault, Neoliberalism, Algorithmic Governmentality, and the Loss of Liberal Culture” in Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature, eds. Kennedy and Shapiro, 43-72.
  • “Translatability, Combined Unevenness and World Literature in Antonio Gramsci” (with Neil Lazarus), Mediations (2018), 1-35.
  • “World-Culture and the Neoliberal World-System: An Introduction” (with Sharae Deckard) for Deckard and Shapiro, World Literature, Neoliberalism, and the Culture of Discontent (Palgrave, 2019), 1-48.
  • “The World-Literary System and the Atlantic: Combined and Uneven Development – an interview with Stephen Shapiro,” Atlantic Studies 16:1 (2019), 7-20.

  • “Liberalism and the Early American Novel,” American Literary History (2019), 777-787.
  • “The Weird’s World-system: The Long Spiral and Literary-Cultural Studies,” Paradoxa, 28 (2016), 256-277.
  • “Realignment and Televisual Intellect: The Telepraxis of Class Alliances in Contemporary Subscription Television Drama” In: Class Divisions in Serial Television, Sieglinde Lemke and Wibke Schniedermann, eds. (Palgrave, 2017), 175-203.
  • “The Culture of Realignment: Enlightened and ‘I can’t breathe’” In: Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture: Axes of Influence, Doug Haynes and Tara Stubbs, eds. (Routledge, 2017), 144-161.
  • “WReC reply to respondents,” [David Damrosch (Harvard); Sarah Brouillette and DAvid Thomas (Carleton); Barbara Harlow (UT Austin); Joshua Clover (UC, Davis) and Maria Elisa Cevasco (Sao Paulo, Brazil)] forum on Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature, 2016 Comparative Literary Studies, 53:3 (2016), 535-50.
  • “Homeland’s Crisis of Middle Class Transformation,” Cinema Journal, 54:4 (Summer 2015), 152-8.
  • “From Capitalist to Communist Abstraction: The Pale King’s Cultural Fix,” Textual Practice, 28:7 (2014), 1249-71. Reprinted in How Abstract is It? Thinking Capital Now, Peter Nichols and Rebecca Colesworthy, eds. (Routledge, 2015).
  • “Zombie Health Care” In: This Year’s Work from the Zombie Research Center, Aaron Jaffe and Ed Comentale, eds. (U of Illinois P, 2014), 193-226.