Photo of Scott Michaelsen. Older middle aged man with greyish brown hair and goatee, glasses, and black shirt.

Scott Michaelsen

Cultural Studies | Theory

Office: C701 Wells Hall
Phone: 517-355-7570

Scott Michaelsen teaches in a number of different areas, including American literature, the literatures of the Americas, popular culture (science fiction, for example), and philosophy and theory in its relation to literature and society.

His many works include Anthropology’s Wake: Attending to the End of Cultural Analysis (co-written with David E. Johnson, Fordham University Press, 2009) The Limits of Multiculturalism: Interrogating the Origins of American Anthropology (University of Minnesota Press, 1999) and Border Theory: The Limits of Cultural Politics (also co-edited with Johnson, University of Minnesota Press, 1997).   Hidden deeper in the closet are earlier works on popular culture: Gumby: The Autobiography of the World’s Most Famous Clayboy (Harmony Books, 1986), and Portable Darkness: An Aleister Crowley Reader (Harmony Books, 1989).

Michaelsen also has written a series of articles with Scott Cutler Shershow (UC Davis) on legal theory after 9/11.  He currently co-writes (with Anthony S.F. Shiu (U Missouri, Kansas City) an online project on music and politics entitled The Devil’s Traxionary (  His next major work is written with Shershow, and is entitled The Love of Ruins: Letters on Lovecraft.

Michaelsen currently co-edits CR: The New Centennial Review with David E. Johnson (University at Buffalo).   Again with Johnson, he is the co-editor of a new book series, “Literature. . .in Theory,” published by the State University of New York Press.  The first volumes in this series will start appearing in 2016.

Michaelsen has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  In 2001, he and Johnson won the prestigious Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, given by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, for his work on CR.  Michaelsen also is the recipient of the Rosenberg Teaching Award from the Department of English at MSU in 2005. 


Project 0: Not For Sale No More: Live Music in the 80s (collected live music criticism from The Chicago Reader, 1983-87) (unassembled)

Project 1: Gumby: the Autobiography of the World’s Favorite Clayboy (Harmony, 1986) (co-authored with Louis Kaplan)

Project 2: TAP; Or, the Book of Quotes (1987) (a joint autobiography, co-authored with Louis Kaplan) (unpublished)

Project 3: Portable Darkness: An Aleister Crowley Reader (Harmony, 1989)

Project 4: Mark Twain’s Capitalism: Capitalists and Aspirants, 1865-1909 (1992; Ph.D. dissertation)

Project 5: Border Theory: The Limits of Cultural Politics (Minnesota, 1997) (co-edited with David E. Johnson)

Project 6: The Limits of Multiculturalism: Interrogating the Origins of American Anthropology (Minnesota,1999)

Project A: CR: The New Centennial Review (co-edited with David E. Johnson) (MSU Press, 2000-present)

Project 7: Your Songs; Or, The (Devil’s) Traxionary (2001-present) (co-authored with Anthony Sze-Fai Shiu) (online at

Project 8: What Is To Be Done?: Essays on Sovereignty after 9/11 (2002-2007) (co-authored with Scott Cutler Shershow; published as eight or nine separate essays in such places as Discourseboundary 2Theory and EventPeace ReviewPostmodern CultureAztlán)

Project 9: Anthropology’s Wake: Attending to the End of Culture (Fordham, 2009) (co-authored with David E. Johnson)

Project 10: The Love of Ruins: Letters on Lovecraft (2016) (co-authored with Scott Cutler Shershow)

Project B: “Literature. . . In Theory,” series at SUNY Press (co-edited with David E. Johnson)

Project 11: ??? (co-authored with Scott Cutler Shershow)


ENG492H: Studies in Period and Genre
ENG885: History of Literary Criticism
ENG886/992: Modern Criticism
ENG891/992: Special Topics in American Literature
IAH207: Literature, Cultures, and Identities