Prof. Robert Mitchell

Visiting scholar with the project Arendt, the Anthropocene, and Narrative


  • 2022-2023 research fellow with the project Knowledge of Life
  • 2022-2023 research fellow with the project Knowledge of Life
  • 2018-2022 Chair, Department of English, Duke University (USA)
  • 2015-2020 Marcello Lotti Professor of English (5-year named chair in recognition of teaching excellence and pedagogical innovation), Duke University
  • since 2013 Full Professor, Department of English, Duke University (USA)
  • since 2011 Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Science and Cultural Theory, Duke University (USA)
  • 2008-2013 Associate Professor, Department of English, Duke University (USA)
  • 2002-2008 Assistant Professor, Department of English, Duke University (USA)
  • 1995-2001 PhD, Comparative Literature, University of Washington (USA)
  • 1994-1995 MA (History), University of California-Irvine (USA)
  • 1990-1994 BA (Comparative History of Ideas), University of Washington (USA)


  • 2018-2020 Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Fellow (Delmenhorst, Germany)
  • 2016 Co-Instructor/Organizer for the “Algorithmic Intermediation and Smartness” in the “Anthropocene Curriculum: The Technosphere Issue” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)



  • The Smartness Mandate. Cambridge: The MIT Press 2023 (with Orit Halpern)
  • Infectious Liberty: Biopolitics between Romanticism and Liberalism. New York: Fordham University Press 2021
  • Experimental Life: Vitalism in Romantic Science and Literature. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press 2013
  • Bioart and the Vitality of Media. Seattle: University of Washington Press 2010
  • Sympathy and the State in the Romantic Era: Systems, State Finance, and the Shadows of Futurity. London: Routledge 2007
  • Tissue Economies: Blood, Organs and Cell Lines in Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke University Press 2006 (with Catherine Waldby)


  • ed.: Romanticism and Modernity. New York: Routledge 2011 (with Thomas Pfau)
  • ed.: Releasing the Image: From Literature to New Media. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011 (with Jacques Khalip)
  • ed.: Thomas Beddoes, Hygëia: or Essays Moral and Medical, on the Causes Affecting the Personal State of our Middling and Affluent Classes. Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2003
  • ed.: Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information. New York: Routledge, 2003 (with Phillip Thurtle)
  • ed.: Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002 (with Phillip Thurtle)


  • May Flies and Horseshoe Crabs: Romantic and Post-Romantic Consciousness, Institutions, and Populations, in Richard C. Sha, Joel Faflak (eds.): Romanticism and Consciousness, Revisited. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2022, 285-308
  • Immunization and the Natural Sciences: Esposito on Disciplines, Deconstruction and Equilibrium, in: Tilottama Rajan, Antonio Calcagno (eds.): Roberto Esposito. New Directions in Biophilosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2021, 85-117
  • Environments, Orientation, and Liquid Foundations, in: Ursula Damm, Mindaugas Gapsevicius (eds.): Shared Habitats. A Cultural Inquiry into Living Spaces and Their Inhabitants. Berlin: Transcript 2021, 18-25
  • Frankenstein and the Sciences of Self-Regulation, in: Huntington Library Quarterly 83.4 (2021), 749-770
  • Smartness, populations, et infrastructures (trans. Giacomo Gilmozzi), in: Bernard Stiegler (ed.): Le nouveau génie urbain. Paris: FYP Editions 2020, 69-86 (with Orit Halpern)
  • Enlightenment Biopolitics: Population and the Growth of Genius, in: The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 59.4 (2018), 405-427
  • Regulating Life: Romanticism, Science, and the Liberal Imagination, in: European Romantic Review 29.3 (2018), 275-293
  • Smartness, Contemplation, and Slow Research, in: Journal of Science and Literature 10.2 (2017), 128-139
  • The Smartness Mandate: Notes Toward a Critique, in: Gray Room 68 (2017), 106-129 (with Orit Halpern and Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan)
  • Smart Art: What is Art, and What Could Art Be in the Age of Smartness? (English with parallel Polish translation), in DIE AND BECOME! Art and Science as the Conjectured Possible. Gdansk, Poland: LAZNIA Center for Contemporary Art 2017, 56-75
  • Response (article-length), in: “Narrative Against Data in the Victorian Novel” special issue of Genre 50.1 (2017), 132-159
  • Biopolitics and Population Aesthetics, in: South Atlantic Quarterly 115.2 (2016), 367-398
  • Response to Georges Teyssot, Key Points: Between Figure and Ground, in: Forty-Five: A Journal of Outside Research 132 (2016) (http:
  • Romanticism and the Experience of Experiment, in: The Wordsworth Circle 46.3 (2015), 132-142
  • Population Aesthetics in Romantic and Post-Romantic Literature, in: Jacques Khalip, Tres Pyle (eds.): Constellations of a Contemporary Romanticism. New York: Fordham University Press 2016, 267-289
  • Global Flows: Romantic-era Terraforming, in: Evan Gottlieb (ed.): Global Romanticism. Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760-1820. Lewisberg, PA: Bucknell University Press 2014, 199-218
  • Access, Entanglement, and Prosociality, in: American Journal of Bioethics 13.6 (2013), 49-51
  • US Biobanking Strategies and Biomedical Immaterial Labor, in: Biosocieties 7.3 (2012), 224-244
  • A Trade Secret Model for Genomic Biobanking, in: Journal of Medical Law and Ethics 40.3 (2012), 612-629 (with John Conley, et al.)
  • Release—(Non)Origination—Concepts (Introduction), in: Jacques Khalip, Robert Mitchell (eds.): Releasing the Image. From Literature to New Media. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 2011, 1-24 (with Jacques Khalip)
  • Simondon, Bioart, and the Milieux of Biotechnology, in: Inflexions 5 (special issue on Gilbert Simondon) (2012) ( (Italian Translation: Bioart e biotechnologie dal punto di vista filosofico di Simondon, in: Anna Long and Roberto Masiero (eds.): Il Divenire della Conoscenza: Estetica e contingenza del reale Milan: Mimesis Edizioni 2013, 145-178
  • Bioart: Media, Evolution, Culture (English with parallel Russian translation), in: Dmitry Bulatov (ed.): Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age, vol. 2. Kaliningrad: BB NCAA 2013, 360-373 (Spanish translation: Bioarte: medios, evolutión y cultura, in: María Antonia González Valerio (ed.): Pròs Bíon: reflexiones naturales sobre arte ciencia filosofía. Mexico City: DGAPA 2014, 451-465)
  • Genomics, Biobanks, and the Trade-Secret Model, in: Science 332.6027 (15 April 2011), 309-10 (with John Conley et al.) (Related response: Mitchell et al, “Trade-Secret Model: Legal Limitations—Response ,” Science 333.6049 (16 September 2011): 1575-1576)
  • Suspended Animation, Slow Time, and the Poetics of Trance, in: PMLA 126.1 (2011), 107-122
  • Blood Banks, Biobanks, and the Ethics of Donation” in: Transfusion 50 (2010), 1866-1869 (Related response: Robert Mitchell, “Response to Weiskopf” Transfusion 51 (2011), 1125)
  • Cryptogamia, in: European Romantic Review 21.5 (2010), 631-651
  • National Biobanks: Clinical Labour, Risk Production, and the Creation of Biovalue, in: Science, Technology, and Human Values ​​​​35.3 (2010), 330-355 (with Catherine Waldby) (Reprinted in: Joanna Zylinska (ed.), Bioethics™ (Living Books on Life series:™))
  • 'Beings that have existence only in ye minds of men': State Finance and the Origins of the Collective Imagination, in: The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 49.2 (Summer 2008), 117-139"
  • ‘The Acme Novelty Library’: Comic Books, Repetition, and the Return of the New, in: Configurations 15.3 (2007), 267–297 (with Phillip Thurtle)
  • The Transcendental: Deleuze, P. B. Shelley, and the Freedom of Immobility, in: Romantic Circles Praxis Series: Romanticism and the New Deleuze, ed. Ron Broglio, Fall 2007 (
  • Introduction: Romanticism and the New Deleuze, in: Romantic Circles Praxis Series: Romanticism and the New Deleuze, ed. Ron Broglio, Fall 2007 ( (with Ron Broglio)
  • Sacrifice, Individuation, and the Economics of Genomics, in: Literature and Medicine 26.1 (Spring 2007), 126-158
  • The Fane of Tescalipoca: S. T. Coleridge on the Sacrificial Economies of Systems in the 1790s, in: Studies in Romanticism 46.1 (2007), 105-27
  • Beautiful and Orderly Systems: Adam Smith on the Aesthetics of Political Improvement, In: Eric Schliesser, Leonidas Montes (eds.), New Voices on Adam Smith, with an Introduction by Knud Haakonssen. New York: Routledge 2006
  • Adam Smith and Coleridge on the Love of Systems, in: Coleridge Bulletin 25 (Summer 2005), 54-60
  • Data Made Flesh: The Material Poiesis of Informatics, In: Robert Mitchell, Phillip Thurtle (eds.) Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information. New York: Routledge 2003, 1-26 (with Phillip Thurtle)
  • “$ell: Body Wastes, Information, and Commodities,” In: Robert Mitchell, Phillip Thurtle (eds.) Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information. New York: Routledge, 2003, 121-36
  • The Violence of Sympathy: Adam Smith on Resentment and Executions, in: 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era 8 (2003), 421-41
  • 'The soul that dreams it shares the power it feels so well': The Politics of Sympathy in the Abolitionist Verse of Williams and Yearsley, in: Romanticism on the Net, Special Edition, edited by Laura Mandell and Annie Finch 29-30 (February -May 2003)
  • Fraternal Anonymity: Blanchot and Nancy on Community and Mitsein, In: Michael Strysick (ed.), The Politics of Community. Boulder, Colorado: The Davies Group, 2001
  • Owning Shit: Commodification and Body Wastes, in: Bad Subjects 55 (March 2001)
  • 'Here is thy fitting Temple': Science, Technology and Fiction in Shelley's Queen Mab, in: Romanticism on the Net 21 (February 2001)