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Dr. Kam Shapiro

Associate Professor/Director of Graduate Studies
Politics and Government
Schroeder Hall - SCH 408B
Office Hours
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. & by appointment
  • About
  • Education
  • Research


Kam Shapiro is Associate Professor of Politics and Government at Illinois State University. His work focuses on somatic and aesthetic dimensions of sovereignty and citizenship.

Current Courses

266.001American Legal Theories

161.002Introduction To Political Theory

Teaching Interests & Areas

Specific research and teaching interests include Political Philosophy, Democratic Theory, Radical Democracy, Biopolitics, American Political Thought, Political Economy, Public Culture, and Media Politics.

Research Interests & Areas

Research interests include Democratic Theory, Radical Democracy, Violence, Biopolitics, American Political Thought, Walter Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, William Wordsworth, Mark Twain, Vilfredo Pareto.

Ph D Political Theory

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

BA Political Science

Reed College
Portland, OR

Book Review

Kam Shapiro, 'Reviving Habit: Félix Ravaisson's Practical Metaphysics,' Theory & Event, Vol. 12, Issue 4, 2009
Kam Shapiro, 'Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation,' in Teaching Philosophy Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2008
Kam Shapiro, 'Liberal Democracy and the Social Acceleration of Time,' Perspectives on Politics Vol.2, Issue 3, June 2005. pp.360-362

Book, Authored

Carl Schmitt and the Intensification of Politics. Rowman and Littlefield, 2008
Sovereign Nations, Carnal State, Cornel University Press, 2003

Book, Chapter

Kam Shapiro. 'Biopolitical Reflections.' Cultural Transformations of the Public Sphere. Fischer, Bernd and Mergenthaler, May (eds.). New York. Peter Lang, 2015.

Kam Shapiro, 'The Myth of the Multitude,' Empire's New Clothes (New York: Routledge, 2004)


'Carl Schmitt' in the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought (2014)
'Violence,' in the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought (2014)

Journal Article

Shapiro, K. Residues and Derivations: Vilfredo Pareto's Affective Politics. Polity 55.4 (2023): 745-767.
Shapiro, K. Violence and politeness: From Walter Benjamin's 'Critique' to the streets of Chicago. Constellations (2020)
Shapiro, K. 'Assembling Counter-Majorities: Mark Twain's Democratic Mugwumpery'. Polity 48.3 (2016): 308-331.
'Confounding Solidarity: Singular, Universal and Particular in the Life Projects of Tehching Hsieh' in Angelaki V.18, No.4, March 2014
'Critical Feelings and Pleasurable Associations,' in Theory & Event V.13, No.4, 2010


What Differences Do Trees Make?. Western Political Science Association (WPSA) Annual Conference. Western Political Science Association. (2023)
Geographies of Turbulence: Racialized Gun Violence in Chicago, Real and Imagined. Western Political Science Association (WPSA) Annual Conference. WPSA. (2022)
Destabilizing Racial Democracy: Coloring Outside the Lines in the Detective Fiction of Chester Himes. APSA (American Political Science Association) annual meeting. APSA (American Political Science Association). (2020)
Sensible Redistributions: Racial Justice and Aesthetic Activism in Chicago. American Political Science Association (APSA). (2019)
Contested Derivations: Affective Politics from Pareto to Trump. Western Political Science Association (WPSA). (2018)
‘Posthumanist Entanglements: Language, Trees, and Politics’. World Humanities Forum. UNESCO. (2018)
'White Democracy and its Discontents'. American Political Science Association (APSA). APSA. (2018)
“American Carnage”: Figuring Race and Violence in Chicago. 'The Changing Contours of American Identity'. American Studies Association of Korea (ASAK). (2017)
‘CeaseFire: Techniques of Nonviolence in Chicago’. Western Political Science Association (WPSA). (2017)
‘Interrupting Violence in Chicago: From Paternalism to Politics’. Invited presentation. Korea University. (2017)