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Professor Stephen Shapiro


Email: s dot shapiro at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 3317

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 AIDS activism (see the web site initially created by me: 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.

Research interests

I am currently working on two monographs. One is called From Gothic to God: Capitalism and Evangelical America. This examines the historical production of gothic and illuminati panics and their transformation into religious revivalism in the early nineteenth century. Another is tentatively called The Cultural Fix: Capital, Social Labor-power, and the Long Spiral. This uses a reading of Marx's Capital volumes 2 and 3 to resolve British Cultural Materialism with World-Systems theory.

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, television studies, and critiques of mental disease. For a more complete list of publications, see this page. For a curated list of videos from Occupy Wall Street, see this page.

I also belong to WReC (Warwick Research Collective), a group interested in moving beyond older models for literary and cultural studies, which 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 am teaching in 2016-17 are:

Past modules:

  • EN213: US Writing and Culture, 1790-1920
  • EN264: Explorations in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies

Selected publications

Recent Articles (from 2014)

  • “The Weird’s World-system: The Long Spiral and Literary-Cultural Studies,” Paradoxa, 28 (2016), 256-277.
  • “Interview with Stephen Shapiro” (on American Studies) in special issue of Atlantic Studies on World-literature (forthcoming 14:2, 2017).
  • “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.

Office hours

Wednesday: 1-2 pm H528

Thursday 4-5 pm H528