Professor Michael Shanks is senior founding faculty of the Stanford Archaeology Center, a Professor of Classics, a member of Stanford's Center for Design Research, and teaches in the programs in Writing and Rhetoric, Science Technology and Society, Urban Studies, Classics, and Archaeology. He was a co-director of Stanford Humanities Lab (2005-2009, exploring new treatments and initiatives in the Humanities) and Stanford Revs Program (2010-2015, connecting automotive heritage with contemporary car design).
Shanks was a visiting professor at the University College Dublin and Durham University (2010-2013), and in 2013, he was made a Research Fellow at Durham University. He was a board member at the Palo Alto History Museum and served on the advisory board of the Humanities Institute of Ireland. For his work, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Roskilde University. He is also a member of the excavations of the Roman town of Binchester in the UK - Ptolemy's Vinovium.
Over the years, Shanks has written over 50 papers on classical archaeology, archaeological theory and media archaeology. He has published over a dozen books on these topics as well including Experiencing the Past: On the Character of Archaeology (1992), Classical Archaeology of Greece (1996), Art and the Greek City State: An Interpretive Archaeology (1999), The Archaeological Imagination (2012), A Walk in Time Along the Smith River: A Small Work of Theatre/Archaeology (2016), and many others. He co-authored the 1995 book Interpreting Archaeology: Finding Meaning in the Past, along with many other famous archaeologists such as Ian Hodder.