Associate Professor of Visual Culture

Carolyn Shapiro has been teaching at the Falmouth College of Art, University College Falmouth, and Falmouth University successively since 2002. Her interdisciplinary approach to critical theory and philosophy has given her the flexibility to teach across programmes, including History of Modern Art and Design, Creative Advertising, Communication Design, English, and Illustration.  Carolyn was previously a Lecturer in the English Department at Baruch College, New York. Carolyn received her PhD in Performance Studies in 2004, from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Carolyn’s scholarly approach uses psychoanalytical theories and deconstruction, from the particular perspective of feminist theory, and she has published with Women & Performance; Wiley Blackwell; MAI Feminism; Rowman &  Littlefield; Duke University Press; and UCL Press. She is active in Postgraduate Research, supervising 9 PhD students and teaching seminars in Critical Writing.
In 2013, Carolyn was Coordinator for an international conference, “Performing Objects”, in conjunction with the art exhibit "Felicitous Objects" at The Poly, Falmouth gallery, which Carolyn co-curated with Maria Christoforidou. Carolyn is currently co-organiser for “Transitus: Illustration as Crossing Ground”: the 12th Annual Illustration Research Symposium, in collaboration with the Journal of Illustration. Coordinated with Performing Objects was in conjunction with the art exhibit "Felicitous Objects" at The Poly, Falmouth gallery, which Carolyn co-curated with Maria Christoforidou.

Carolyn is External Examiner at the Faculty of Laws, University College London, invited to this position because of her research on the philosopher Jeremy Bentham.  In addition, she is working on several projects looking at Jewish Diaspora, as well as acting as Lead Investigator for an AHRC proposal for an internationally-networked Online Feminist Classroom. She has also incorporated undergraduate student symposiums such as “Disquiet Feminisms” (spring 2019), and “Decolonise Now!” (Spring 2021), into the Falmouth School of Art Critical Studies curriculum. Her interest in the growing theoretical area of Illustration Research forms a guiding force in all of her teaching, including that of postgraduate research. Carolyn's community outreach projects include serving as Education Officer for Kehillat Kernow, the Jewish congregation of Cornwall, working with primary, secondary and HE students on Jewish cultural and religious themes, and works with the Falmouth University Commission on Race and Inequality on definitions of Anti-Semitism.

External Links

Contact details

Telephone 01326 213769



Year Qualification Awarding body
1987 BA Comparative Literature and History of Art University of Pennsylvania
1993 MA Performance Studies Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
2004 PhD Performance Studies Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Honors and awards

Year Description

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

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

  • History and psychoanalysis
  • Online feminist pedagogies
  • Deconstruction and feminism
  • Decolonising art and design
  • Performance Studies and Performance Philosophy
  • The Auto-Icon of Jeremy Bentham; Bentham's theory of language; Bentham's queer body
  • Object Theatre and 3-D illustration
  • Uncanniness and automata 
  • Illustration and the Uncanny
  • Animal-human relations in Studio Ghibli
  • Freemasonry: illustrations, rituals, and theatre
  • Mahj Jong and competition among Jewish American women
  • Deconstruction in and the visual arts; the Future Anterior as visual trope
  • Facebook as Autothanatography

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2022), Vicissitudes and Their Inscriptions, In: History of the Present: Psychoanalysis and History, Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, 12 (1), ISSN: 2159-9785
  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2018), Solicitations, or, Asking for it: The Violations of Anish Kapoor's *Dirty Corner*, In: MAI Feminism, MAI feminism, online, Autumn 2018 (2), ISSN: 2003-1672
  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2016), After the Gold Rush: Make America Great Again, In: Disegno, Disegno Daily, London, ISSN: unknown, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Wyatt, Carolyn

    (2012), Exquisite Pain, In: Benzanoe, Benzanoe, unknown, ISSN: XXXX-XXXX
  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2020), Bentham's Image: The Corpo-Reality Check, In: Bentham and the Arts, UCL Press, London, ISBN: 9781787357389
  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2019), Historical and Philosophical Relations between the Uncanny and Illustration, In: A Companion to Illustration: Art and Theory, Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 444-466, ISBN: 978-1-119-18553-6
  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2019), “Happiness, Dead and Alive: Object Theatre as Philosophy of the Encounter,” in the forthcoming book Second Nature: Comic Performance and Philosophy, In: Second Nature: Comic Performance and Philosophy, Rowman & Littlefield, London, UK, ISBN: N/A
  • Wylde, Gillian

    Christoforidou, Maria and Chapman, Neil, (2017), FOMO: Falmouth Art Publishing Fair 2017, Falmouth Art Gallery and Library
  • Shapiro, Carolyn

    (2017), Illustration, Performativity and the Explicit Body of Marie-Antoinette in Eighteenth-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), Dirty Corner’s Elicitations and, “Myth Today,” today, In: Society for European Philosophy, August 23-26, 2016, Regent's University, London, UK, (Unpublished)
  • 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, UK
  • 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, In: Lost for Words, 6-10 January 2016, Falmouth Projects Space, Falmouth, (Unpublished)

Research Students

Current research students

Completed PhD supervisions:

  • Matthew Lunt, “Harry Penhaul and the subject of the real: photographing post-war Cornish community through a Lacanian lens,” 2019.
  • Jeanie Sinclair, We came for the parties: performing art community, archive and place in St Ives, 1945 – 1970, 2021.

Current PhD supervisions:

  • Louise Bell, “Illustration as empathic attention: using creative practice as an other way of knowing place” (DoS)
  • David Greeves, “Embodied Performative practices in the Delivery of Vertical Dance Pedagogy” (supervisory committee)
  • Sara Hougham-Slade, “A practice-based examination of weight and correlative movement through non-digital ‘Haptic Illustrative Devices’ as textual aids” (supervisory committee)
  • Tim Jones, “Artful Conversations: Establishing an approach to using the visual arts for enabling communication in the Memory Café” (DoS)
  • Dan O’Carroll, “Writing the New Heritage” (DoS)
  • Gilly Nevin, “Placental Textuality in the art practices of Helen Chadwick and philosophy of Luce Irigaray” (DoS)
  • Drew Turner, “Stories of Home: ethnographic illustration research methodology” (supervisory committee)
  • Ian Walden, “How to end your life in the 21st Century: Facilitating cultural and sociological discursivity around end of life choices” (supervisory committee)
  • *Yan Wenxue, "Augmented reality picture books for second language acquisition in pre-school children"

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


Research degrees examined

  • Ann Roberts, “Painting by mouth: art, modernity and disability. Bartram Hiles (1872-1927)” Falmouth College of Art, 2012.
  • Jason Cleverly, “The artist-designer: situating creative interaction and interpretation in the museum” Falmouth University, 2017.
  • Francis Williams, “Looking away: failure, embarrassment and mis-attention in a performance-related artistic practice” Falmouth University, 2020.
  • Tom Milnes, “Spatially-immersive Networked Composites: A Media Archaeology of the Photogrammetric Image through Glitch Practice” Falmouth University, 2021.
  • *Sarah Levinsky, Encounters between Dance and Digital Meaning: Discovering Potential in the Question of Movement (Falmouth University, April 2022)

Number of research degree examinations



Areas of teaching

  • Dissertation module
  • Illustration
  • Critical Studies
  • Visual Culture & Communication
  • Body Gender Language
  • History of Modern Art and Design
  • Creative Critical Thinking
  • Graduate Research Writing Seminars

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

Social, community and cultural engagement

Conference coordinator, "Performing Objects," October 17-20 2013, Falmouth University, in collaboration with The Performance Centre, The Poly, Falmouth Gallery, Kneehigh Theatre

Engagement with professional associations and societies

The Bentham Project, University College London

Professional esteem indicators

Year Description

Invited lecturer, University College Faculty of Law, on the topic of Jeremy Bentham's philosophy of language


Invited lecturer, University College Faculty of Law, as part of the Jeremy Bentham and the Arts lecture series