MacArthur Fellows Program

Marc Shell

Literary Scholar | Class of 1990

Literary Scholar
Amherst, Massachusetts
43 at time of award

Marc Shell is a literary scholar whose work opens new perspectives on human relations in a wide range of cultural areas.

He is interdisciplinary in his learning, crossing from literature to philosophy, to economics, to literary theory, to psychoanalysis. Shell is the author of The Economy of Literature (1978), Money, Language, and Thought: Literary and Philosophical Economies from the Medieval to the Modern Era (1982), and The End of Kinship: “Measure for Measure,” Incest, and the Idea of Universal Siblinghood (1988), a work that synthesizes his studies in literary criticism, anthropology, religion, and politics.  He further pursues the theme of kinship in Children of the Earth: Literature, Politics, and Nationhood (1993), as he explores and analyzes contradictions in the “ideal of universal siblinghood. Other books by Shell include Elizabeth’s Glass (1993), Art and Money: A Study of Visual and Economic Representation (1995), Polio and Its Aftermath: The Paralysis of Culture (2005), and Stutter (2006).

Shell is the Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature and a professor of English at Harvard University.

Shell attended McGill University (1964-65), received a B.A. (1968) from Stanford University, a certificate in economics from the University of Cambridge (1970), and an M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1975) from Yale University.

Last updated January 1, 2007

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