Elana Shapira

Visiting Professor

Contact information

Elana Shapira is a cultural and design historian; She lectures at the University of Vienna and at University of Applied Arts Vienna; She is a specialist in the study of Viennese modernism. Her research interests include Central European cultural networks and artistic and literary avant-garde, Jews in the creative industries in Europe and in the US, women designers in the interwar period, and communication of social and scientific knowledge through art. Shapira has organized important international symposiums and workshops on the subjects of Jews and cultural Identity in Central European modernism, émigrés and cultural transfer and women designers and architects. She published widely on design and architecture in transnational contexts, Jewish patronage of modernism, constructions of cultural identities, and the relationship between design and society in edited volumes, exhibition catalogues and leading art and design journals.

Major publications:

Style and Seduction. Jewish Patrons, Architecture, and Design in Fin-de-siècle Vienna, (Boston: Brandeis University Press, 2016).

Edited Volumes

E. Shapira and Anne-Kathrin Rossberg, Gestalterinnen: Frauen, Design und Gesellschaft in Wien der Zwischenkriegszeit. Women, Design and Society in Vienna in the Interwar (Forthcoming, De Gruyter, 2023)

E. Shapira (ed.,) Designing Transformation: Jews and Cultural Identity in Central European Modernism (London: Bloomsbury, 2021).

E. Shapira and Daniela Finzi (eds.), Freud and the Émigré. Austrian Émigrés, Exiles and the Legacy of Psychoanalysis in Britain (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

E. Shapira (ed.) Design Dialogue: Jews, Culture and Viennese Modernism (Vienna: Böhlau 2018).

A. J. Clarke and E Shapira (eds.), Émigré Cultures in Design and Architecture, (New York and London: Bloomsbury 2017).


2017-2021 Project Leader Austrian Science Fund research project Visionary Vienna: Design and Society 1918-1934, Design Institute, University of Applied Arts Vienna
2013-2016 Senior Researcher in the Austrian Science Fund Project: Émigré Cultural Networks and the Founding of Social Design, Design Institute, University of Applied Arts Vienna
2021: Habilitation, Design Institute, University of Applied Arts Vienna
2004: Ph.D. Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts Vienna
1998: MA. History of Art, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem