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Robert E. MitchellRobert E. Mitchell  
Marcello Lotti Professor of English and Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society and Director of Graduate Studies and Director of CISSCT

Office Location: 304C Allen, Durham, NC 27708
Email Address: rmitch@duke.edu

Teaching (Fall, 2015):

  • English 184s.03, Readings in genre Synopsis
    Keohane 4b 402 sem, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Office Hours:

Mondays, 12:20-1:20 pm


Ph.D., University of Washington

M.A., University of California at Irvine

B.A., University of Washington

British Literature
Eighteenth Century Literature
Science and Literature
Critical Theory
Robert Mitchell's research focuses on relationships between literature and the sciences in the Romantic era, as well as contemporary intersections among information technologies, genetics, and commerce, especially as these have been played out in the legal, literary, and artistic spheres. His most recent work has focused on the theory and practices of experimentation in both the arts and sciences, the history of vitalism, and the relationship between aesthetics and biological concepts of population. He has published three single-author monographs: Sympathy and the State in the Romantic Era: Systems, State Finance, and the Shadows of Futurity (Routledge, 2007), Bioart and the Vitality of Media (University of Washington Press, 2010), and Experimental Life: Vitalism in Romantic Science and Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013). He is also co-author of the monograph Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism (Duke UP, 2006) and the DVD-ROM Biofutures: Owning Body Parts and Information (U of Pennsylvania P, 2008). Mitchell is co-editor of several collections of essays, including Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge, 2003), Romanticism and Modernity (Routledge, 2011), and Releasing the Image: From Literature to New Media (Stanford UP, 2011), and co-editor of the book series "In Vivo: The Cultural Mediations of Biomedical Science" (University of Washington Press). He has also published many articles in humanities, social science, and natural science journals, including Science, The American Journal of Bioethics, Biosocieties, Studies in Romanticism, and PMLA.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. R. Mitchell. Experimental Life: Vitalism in Romantic Science and Literature. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. (2013 British Society for Literature and Science Annual Book Prize Winner; 2014 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts) [experimental-life]
  2. R. Mitchell. Bioart and the Vitality of Media. University of Washington Press, 2010. [ref=sr_1_1]
  3. with Helen Burgess, Phillip Thurtle. Biofutures: Owning Body Parts and Information. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. (DVD-ROM) [available here]
  4. R. Mitchell. Sympathy and the State in the Romantic Era: Systems, State Finance, and the Shadows of Futurity. Routledge, 2007. [102-8880685-5627335]
  5. with C. Waldby. Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs, and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism. Duke University Press, 2006. [102-8880685-5627335]
  6. with T. Pfau. Romanticism and Modernity.  Routledge, 2011.
  7. with J. Khalip. Releasing the Image: From Literature to New Media.  Stanford University Press, 2011. [ref=sr_1_1]
  8. Mitchell. "Bioart e biotechnologie dal punto di vista filosofico di Simondon." Il Divenire della Conoscenza: Estetica e contingenza del reale. Ed. Anna Long and Roberto Masiero. Mimesis Edizioni, 2013. 
  9. with John M. Conley, Arlene M. Davis, R. Jean Cadigan, Allison W. Dobson, Ryan Q. Gladden. "A Trade Secret Model for Genomic Biobanking." Journal of Medicine, Law and Ethics 40.3 (September, 2012): 612–629.
  10. R. Mitchell. "U.S. Biobanking Strategies and Biomedical Immaterial Labor." Biosocieties 7.3 (2012): 224–244.
  11. R. Mitchell. "Simondon, Bioart, and the Milieux of Biotechnology." Inflexions 5 (2012) [html]
  12. R. Mitchell. "Cryptogamia." Romanticism and Modernity. Routledge, 2011. 199-219. (reprint of essay)
  13. R. Mitchell. "Suspended Animation, Slow Time, and the Poetics of Trance." PMLA 126.1 (2011): 107-122.
  14. with P. Thurtle. Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information.  Routledge, 2003 [104-7461896-1670304]
More Information:

Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory

Affiliated Faculty: Women's Studies

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