Hanna Rose Shell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art & Art History, and Film Studies, CU Boulder

Biographical and contact information


Hanna Rose Shell studies aesthetics, media archaeology, textiles, and the interface of art and science; her scholarship takes the form of text and film. Shell’s book on camouflage, Hide and Seek: Camouflage, Photography, and the Media of Reconnaissance, published by Zone Books in 2012, has since been translated into French (Zones Sensibles) and inspired her own and others’ multimedia works. Shell has published widely in scholarly and popular journals on subjects including taxidermy, waste processing, and the history of chronophotography. She served as co-editor for a volume on science studies published Princeton University Press and previously released an edited reprint of The Extermination of the American BisonTechnology and Culture, her scholarship has appeared in the publications Journal of Visual Culture, Configurations, History and Technology, Bidoun, Technology and Culture, Natural History and Cabinet among others.

Shell’s 2020 book, SHODDY: From Devil's Dust to the Renaissance of Rags (University of Chicago Press), examines recycled textiles as transformative media forms through the lenses of aesthetics, material culture, history, and critical theory. It dovetails with a series of experimental documentary shorts and a textile installation in the Czech Republic on the subject of waste, recycling and old clothes. Her films and media works have appeared worldwide, at art and film venues including The Museum of Modern Art, Anthology Film Archives, the ZKM Center for Art and Media, Machine Project, Slamdance, Black Maria Film and Video Festival, Machine Project, the Zimmerli Art Museum.

Prior to her arrival at UC-Boulder in 2018, she was Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before which she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Shell also taught previously at the Rhode Island School of Design. Jointly appointed in the Department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts and the Department of Art & Art History, she teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses.

Academic positions

Associate Professor of Art & Art History, and Film Studies, CU Boulder2018—
Associate Professor, MIT2014-2018
Leo Marx Career Development Chair Associate Professor, MIT2012-2014
Leo Marx Career Development Chair Assistant Professor, MIT2011-2012
Assistant Professor, Program in Science, Technology & Society, MIT2008-2011
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows2007-2010
Visiting Professor, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)2005-2006


Ph.D., History of Science, Harvard University, 2007

M.A., American Studies, Yale University, 2002

A.B. Summa Cum Laude, History and Science, Harvard College, 1999

Contact information

Dr. Hanna Rose Shell
Art & Art History Department
University of Colorado at Boulder
UCB 318, 1085 18th Street, Boulder, CO 80309

hanna.shell (at) colorado.edu