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 is currently co-editor and art curator for a volume on science studies forthcoming from Princeton University Press and previously released an edited reprint of The Extermination of the American Bison  with Smithsonian Institution Press (2002). The founder and commissioning editor of “Beyond Words,” a section on film and audio-visual practices in the history of technology for the journal Technology and Culture, her scholarship has appeared in publications Journal of Visual Culture, Configurations, History and Technology, Bidoun, Natural History and Cabinet among others. Shell’s 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 and many more.
Shell’s current book manuscript, Shoddy: Textiles, Technology, and Identity in Rags (under contract with 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.
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 Art & Art History and the Film Studies Program at CU, she is currently teaching Curatorial Studies and Topics in Film Theory: Science on Screen.