Elana Shapira

Dr. Elana Shapira, Privat Dozentin

Elana Shapira is a cultural and design historian; She lectures at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and at the University of Vienna; She is a specialist in the study of Viennese modernism. Her research interests include Central European cultural networks and artistic  avant-garde, Jews in the creative industries in Europe and in the US, women designers in the interwar period, and modern Jewish art and architecture. 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, Jews in the arts and media in Vienna and Berlin, 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 (ed.,) Austrian Identity and Modernity: Culture and Politics in the 20th Century (Forthcoming, Bloomsbury, 2025).


D. Stratigakos and E. Shapira (eds.,) Ella Briggs: The Life and Work of an Unconventional Architect and the Global Quest to Find Her (Forthcoming, Princeton University Press, 2025)


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




2017-2022 Project Leader FWF research project Visionary Vienna: Design and Society 1918-1934, Design Institute, University of Applied Arts Vienna

2022/23 Researcher, project Image + Platform for Open Art Education, Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts Vienna

2013-2016 Senior Researcher in the Austrian Science Fund Project: Émigré Cultural Networks and the Founding of Social Design, University of Applied Arts Vienna



2024 co-organizer with Anne-Katrin Rossberg (MAK) Central European Symposium “Crossing Borders: Central European Women in the Arts ” (MAK - Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Forthcoming January 25-26).

2023 organizer Internationales Symposium „Eine Wiener Schule in Berlin“ (IFK, Forthcoming November 22-24).