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  Robert E. Mitchell, Affliated Faculty
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  Robert E. MitchellMarcello Lotti Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies and Director of CISSCT and Chair of English and Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Office Location:  302A Allen, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 668-2547
Email Address:  send me a message

Office Hours:

Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

  • Ph.D. University of Washington 2001
  • M.A. University of California at Irvine 1995
  • B.A. University of Washington 1994


British Literature
Eighteenth Century Literature
Science and Literature
Critical Theory
Research Interests: British Literature of the Romantic Era; Romanticism; 18th Century Literature; Literature and Science

Robert Mitchell is interested in the role of theories of emotional communication (for example, sympathy and identification), as well as the role of science, in the prose and poetry of the Romantic era. He is also interested in contemporary intersections between information technologies, genetics, and commerce, especially as these have been played out in the legal and literary spheres. He has published articles about the role of sympathy in Adam Smith's moral philosophy, the vision of science in Percy Bysshe Shelley's early poetry, and is co-editor of a collection of essays entitled Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body. He is currently revising a manuscript that outlines the history of theories of sympathy in the Romantic era, and he is also working on a multimedia project that investigates contemporary issues in genetic commerce.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)
  1. with Mitchell, R; Burgess, H; Thurtle, P. Biofutures: Owning Body Parts and Information (DVD-ROM).  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. (DVD-ROM) [available here]
  2. Mitchell, R. "Bioart e biotechnologie dal punto di vista filosofico di Simondon." Il Divenire della Conoscenza: Estetica e contingenza del reale  (2013).
  3. with Conley, JM; Mitchell, R; Cadigan, RJ; Davis, AM; Dobson, AW; Gladden, RQ. "A trade secret model for genomic biobanking.." The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics : a Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics 40:3 (January, 2012): 612-629. [doi]  [abs]
  4. Mitchell, R. "US biobanking strategies and biomedical immaterial labor." Biosocieties 7:3 (September, 2012): 224-244. [doi]  [abs]
  5. Mitchell, R. "Simondon, Bioart, and the Milieux of Biotechnology." Inflexions 5 (2012). [html]
  6. Mitchell, R. "Cryptogamia."  (reprint of essay) Romanticism and Modernity  (2011): 199-219.
  7. Mitchell, R. "Suspended animation, slow time, and the poetics of trance." Pmla 126:1 (January, 2011): 107-122. [doi]  [abs]
  8. with Mitchell, R. "Sell: Body wastes, information, and commodification." Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information  (January, 2011): 121-136. [104-7461896-1670304], [doi]