Geoff Shullenberger

Senior Lecturer at NYU
Geoff Shullenberger
Geoff Shullenberger is a cultural critic and literary scholar whose current work explores the intersections of critical theory and the internet. He has been teaching literature, theory, and writing in university settings for almost fifteen years.


Michel Foucault’s Theory of Biopolitics in the Covid Era

Wednesdays, Apr 14 & Apr 21, 5pm-6:30pm PT / 8pm-9:30pm ET

The philosopher Michel Foucault developed the concepts of “biopower” and “biopolitics” to analyze the state’s growing involvement in the biological life of citizens. This seminar will explore the applicability of Foucault’s theory to the politics of COVID-19.


Using René Girard’s Mimetic Theory to Understand Today’s Online Culture Wars

Thursdays, Feb 11 & Feb 18, 5pm-6:30pm PT / 8pm-9:30pm ET

The interdisciplinary theorist René Girard’s work traces the sources of human conflict to the tendency to imitate, and identifies scapegoating as a fundamental means of social pacification. This interactive seminar will explore Girard’s core insights with reference to the fraught realm of contemporary social media.


Geoff Shullenberger received an M.St. in European Literature from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Expository Writing Program at New York University.


Geoff’s Ph.D. dissertation at Brown examined the literary representation of paranoia in the 19th and 20th centuries and its relation to psychiatric and psychoanalytic theories of paranoid schizophrenia, with a particular focus on Argentina, where he carried out funded research. Subsequently, he became interested in contemporary paranoid online subcultures such as “targeted individuals” and more recently, 5G conspiracists, and has published extensively on this subject. Much of his current research and writing focuses on the circulation of critical theory outside of academic settings, especially on the internet, as well as the relationship between academic theories and conspiracy theories. In 2020, he started a blog,, which tracks these phenomena.