Robert Edward Mitchell

Robert Edward Mitchell

Marcello Lotti Professor of English

External Address: 
302A Allen, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
90015, Durham, NC 27708
Office Hours: 

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

(919) 668-2547

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. His current research focuses on relationships among biopolitics, the logic of populations, and the arts.


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

Mitchell, R. “$ell: Body Wastes, Information and Commodification.” Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information, edited by Robert Mitchell and Phillip Thurtle, Routledge, 2003.

Mitchell, R. “Fraternal Anonymity: Blanchot and Nancy on Community and Mitsein.” The Politics of Community, edited by M. Strysick, The Davies Group, 2001.


Mitchell, R. “Simondon, Bioart, and the Milieux of Biotechnology.” Inflexions, vol. 5, 2012.

Mitchell, R., et al. “Trade-Secret Model: Legal Limitations--Response.” Science, vol. 333, no. 6049, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Sept. 2011, pp. 1575–76. Crossref, doi:10.1126/science.333.6049.1575-b. Full Text

Mitchell, R., et al. “Response.” Science, vol. 333, no. 6049, Sept. 2011, pp. 1575–76. Scopus, doi:10.1126/science.333.6049.1575-b. Full Text

Mitchell, R. “In reply.” Transfusion, vol. 51, no. 5, May 2011. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03104.x. Full Text

Mitchell, Robert, et al. “Genomics. Genomics, biobanks, and the trade-secret model..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 332, no. 6027, Apr. 2011, pp. 309–10. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1199554. Full Text

Mitchell, R. “Suspended animation, slow time, and the poetics of trance.” Pmla, vol. 126, no. 1, Jan. 2011, pp. 107–22. Scopus, doi:10.1632/pmla.2011.126.1.107. Full Text

Mitchell, R. “Response to Weiskopf.” Transfusion, vol. 51, 2011, pp. 1125–1125.

Pfau, T., and R. Mitchell. “European Romantic Review: Introduction.” European Romantic Review, vol. 21, no. 5, Oct. 2010, pp. 545–51. Scopus, doi:10.1080/10509585.2010.499004. Full Text

Mitchell, R. “Cryptogamia.” European Romantic Review, vol. 21, no. 5, Oct. 2010, pp. 631–51. Scopus, doi:10.1080/10509585.2010.499030. Full Text

Mitchell, Robert. “Blood banks, biobanks, and the ethics of donation..” Transfusion, vol. 50, no. 9, Sept. 2010, pp. 1866–69. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02812.x. Full Text