Dr Carolyn Shapiro

Job title
Senior Lecturer
01326 213769 Ext: 3769

Dr Carolyn Shapiro received her MA and PhD in Performance Studies from New York University (2004), and received a BA in Comparative Literature and History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. She taught in the English department at Baruch College, City University of New York, from 1996-1999, before moving to the UK in 1999.  She has been lecturing in critical theory and history and cultural studies at Falmouth since 2002, across disciplines, including: BA(Hons) History of Modern Art and Design; MA 20th Century Art and Design; BA(Hons) Advertising; MA Creative Advertising; BA(Hons) Illustration, MA Authorial Practice; MA Communication Design; MA Graphic Design; BA(Hons) English and Creative Writing; and BA(Hons) Film Studies.

She currently holds the position of course coordinator for Critical Studies for BA(Hons) Illustration and as primary tutor for the theories and discourses module for MA Authorial Practice, and has been the primary tutor on the Visual Culture and Communication module for the MA Creative Advertising for 15 years.  She is lead supervisor for Phd candidates Matthew Lunt, Louise Bell, and Jeanie Sinclair at Falmouth University. In October 2013, Carolyn received a substantial research and innovation grant from the Academy of Innovation and Research at Falmouth University to put on the international four day conference, Performing Objects, which took place across multiple venues between Falmouth and Penryn campuses, and included papers, performances, and workshops for both students and the general public.  Coordinated with Performing Objects was the art exhibit "Felicitous Objects" at The Poly gallery, which Carolyn co-curated with Maria Christoforidou.    


YearQualificationAwarding body
BA Comparative Literature and History of Art
University of Pennsylvania
MA Performance Studies
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
PhD Performance Studies
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Honours and awards


The Michael Kirby Award for Most Distinguished PhD dissertation, New York University

Membership of external committees

member, International Society for Utilitarian Studies; member, College Art Association
member, Falmouth Art Gallery

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

Critical theory, including psychoanalysis and deconstruction, and feminist, queer and post-colonial theory; cultural studies; semiotics; illustration and authorial practice; performance studies, including performance philosophy; philosophy of language; 20th century art and design; advertising and the consumer subject; social networking and subjectivity; object theatre (puppetry and automata); material culture, focusing on collecting and display practices.

Research topics

The Auto-Icon of Jeremy Bentham
Bentham's philosophy of language
Deconstruction in the visual arts (Matthew Barney
Sophie Calle
Tacita Dean
and others)
Visual troping of the Future Anterior
Wacky Packages: Consumer critique in the 1970s
Facebook as Autothanatography
Object Theatre and Object Oriented Ontology
philosophical theories on *automata*
Illustrating the Uncanny

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs


Shapiro, Carolyn (2016) After the Gold Rush: Make America Great Again. Disegno, 14. ISSN unknown (In Press) Item availability may be restricted.

Wyatt, Carolyn (2012) Exquisite Pain. Benzanoe, 65. ISSN XXXX-XXXX

Book Chapter

Shapiro, Carolyn (2018) Historical and Philosophical Relations between the Uncanny and Illustration. In: The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Illustration. Wiley Blackwell Companion series . Wiley Blackwell, worldwide. ISBN 987-1-1191-8553-6 (Submitted) Item availability may be restricted.

Conference or Workshop Item

Shapiro, Carolyn (2017) Illustration, Performativity and the Explicit Body of Marie-Antoinette in 18-century French Pornographic Pamphlets. In: Illustrating Identity/ies, 8-10 November, 2017, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France. (Unpublished)

Shapiro, Carolyn (2017) On Objects. In: "On Objects," sponsored by The Forum for European Philosophy, 31 January 2017, Wolfson Theatre, London School of Economics.

Shapiro, Carolyn (2016) Nature as Neighbour: Landscape’s Relation to the Human in Studio Ghibli Films. In: Lanugage, Landscape and the Sublime, 29-30 June 2016, Dartington College, Devon. (Unpublished)

Shapiro, Carolyn (2016) Dirty Corner’s Elicitations and, “Myth Today,” today. In: Society for European Philosophy, August 23-26, 2016, Regent's University, London. (Unpublished)

Shapiro, Carolyn (2016) Deconstructive Tendencies in Bentham's Philosophy of Language: Reading the (per)Happiness in Felicific Calculus. In: The Bentham Project Seminar Series, 11 March 2016, Faculty of Laws, University College London. (Submitted)

Shapiro, Carolyn (2014) Performing Objects/Performing Philosophy. In: Performance Philosophy, April 1-12, 2015, University of Chicago. (Unpublished)

Shapiro, Carolyn (2014) (Per)happiness, Performative Language and the Figure of the Automaton: reading the deconstructive wedge of Felicific Calculus. In: Well-Being Reconsidered: the International Society for Utilitaran Studies, 19-22 August 2014, Yokohama University.

Wyatt, Carolyn (2012) "Farther Uses of the Dead to the Living": Reading the Felicity of the Body in Jeremy Bentham's Auto-Icon. In: International Society for Utilitarian Studies, 8 - 11 August 2012, Stern School of Business, New York University, USA.

Wyatt, Carolyn (2011) Reading the work of Matthew Barney: Disability as Deconstruction. In: Disability and The Arts, 28 October 2011, Cornwall College, St Austell.


Shapiro, Carolyn (2015) Facebook as Graveyard. [Artwork] (Unpublished)


Wylde, Gillian, Shapiro, Carolyn, Christoforidou, Maria and Chapman, Neil (2017) FOMO: Falmouth Art Publishing Fair 2017. UNSPECIFIED.
[img] [img]

Research students

Current research students

Matthew Lunt, PhD, Harry Penhaul and the Answer of the Real; Louise Bell, PhD, Hidden Fractures: Plymouth Illustrated Within its Repairs; Jeanie Sinclair, PhD, 'We came for the parties': art community, sound and place in postwar St Ives.

Previous student supervision

Gemma Anderson, PhD confirmation committee; numerous MA degrees (MA 20th Century Art and Design; MA Creative Advertising)

Number of research students supervised to completion: 0

Research degrees examined

Internal examiner for the PhD confirmation of Gemma Anderson, Falmouth University; Internal examiner at the viva of Ann Robertson, Falmouth University; numerous MA degrees examined (at least 150); Internal Examiner, Jason Cleverley, 2017; Francesca Williams, forthcoming, 2018.

My completed research degree supervision lies with the MA courses at Falmouth University, where I have supervised and examined approximately 20 MA theses in the MA 20th Century Art and Design program, and well over 100 MA Creative Advertising degrees. 

Number of research degree examinations: 120


Areas of teaching

Critical Theory (structuralism
Expository Writing
Advertising and the consumer subject
Performance Studies
History of Modern Art and Design
Critical theory of graphic design
Gender Studies
Social Networking and Subjectivity
Cultural Studies
dissertation supervision
Film Studies

Courses taught

CriticalStudies (BA Illustration); Visual Culture and Communication (MA Creative Advertising); "Why We Buy" (BA Advertising); "Body Gender Language" (BA English with Creative Writing); Dissertation Supervision
Theories and Discourses (MA Authorial Practice)
Dissertation BA Illustration

Professional engagement