Amy J. Elias teaches and writes about arts and aesthetics of the post-1945 period, time and history studies, narrative theory, globalization/planetarity studies, and contemporary fiction. She also has teaching and research background in digital media, narrative ethics, Science Fiction and Fantasy literatures, visual narrative, and American Studies. Affiliated with Cinema Studies and American Studies and a fellow at the UT Center for the Study of Social Justice, Professor Elias teaches courses such as the Colloquium in Literature, Contemporary Narrative/Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Graphic Novel and Comics, Theories of Postmodernism, Planetarity and Globalization, The Ethics of Avatars, Hyperaesthetics and Experimental Fiction, and Postmodern Spaces.
Professor Elias is the principal founder of A.S.A.P.: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, served as President, Past President, and secretary for that organization, and hosted the association’s launch conference in Knoxville in 2009, featuring work by 115 speakers from China, the UK, the U.S., Japan, Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. She is also the founding co-editor of ASAP's scholarly publication, ASAP/Journal, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Her book Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction (2002) won the George and Barbara Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative, and she is currently completing a book “Dialogue at the End of the World: Art and the Commons,” about dialogue as an ethical and artistic practice across the arts after 1950.
B.A. Wilkes University (summa cum laude)
M.A. The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University (American Studies minor)
- Founding President, A.S.A.P.: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (artsofthepresent.org)
- Founding Co-editor (with Jonathan Eburne), ASAP/Journal, Johns Hopkins University Press
- Conference Organizer, ASAP/1, Knoxville, TN, 2009
- A.S.A.P. Book Prize Committee creator and chair, 2012
- Executive Committee, Prose Fiction Division, Modern Language Association. 2006-12
- Tenure review External Evaluator: University of Colorado (2014), University of Rhode Island (2009)
- George and Barbara Perkins Book Prize Committee, International Society for the Study of Narrative, 2007, 2012
- MLA First Book Prize Committee, 2006-2008
- Reader/Referee: Dartmouth University Press, Ohio State University Press, University of Nebraska Press, PMLA, Postmodern Culture, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Contemporary Literature, Contemporary Women’s Writing, Twentieth-Century Literature, ebr: electronic book review, Western Humanities Review
Awards, Honors & Grants
University of Tennessee Humanities Center Research Fellowship, 2013-14
- University of Tennessee College of Arts and Humanities Senior Teaching Award, 2007
- George and Barbara Perkins Book Award, International Society for the Study ofnNarrative, for Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction, 2002
- NEH Summer Seminar, “Literature and Values.” University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 200
- School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University, 1998
Selected Internal Grants:
- ASAP/1 conference funding, University of Tennessee (Dept. of English Hodges Fund, Ready for the World, Haines Morris Endowment, UT Graduate School for a total of $19,500), 2009
- CAAS: Contemporary Arts & Society Speakers Series, University of Tennessee (Dept. of English Hodges Fund, Haines Morris Endowment for a total of $15,000), 2007
Associations & Organizations
- A.S.A.P.: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
- Modern Language Association
- International Society for the Study of Narrative
- Society for Critical Exchange
- College Art Association
- Society for Cinema and Media Studies
- Media Ecology Association
- Time: A Vocabulary of the Present. Eds. Joel Burges and Amy J. Elias. New York University Press, 2016.
- The Planetary Turn: Relationality, and Geoaesthetics in the 21st Century. Eds. Amy J. Elias and Christian Moraru. Northwestern University Press, 2015.
- Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Issues:
- Special Issue Editor, “Art and the Commons: Tract, Circuit, Sphere,” ASAP/Journal, forthcoming 2016.
Representative articles and book chapters:
- “Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Teslapunk, Dieselpunk, Salvagepunk: Metahistorical Romance and/vs. the Technological Sublime.” Metahistorical Narratives and Scientific Metafictions. Ed. Giuseppe Episcopo. Napoli: Edizioni Cronopio. Collection under contract, forthcoming.
- “Metahistorical Romance / Historiographic Metafiction.” Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature. Ed. Len Platt and Brian McHale. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Collection under contract, forthcoming.
- Elias, Amy; Matthew Hart; David James; Samuel Cohen; Mary Esteve. “Postmodern, Postwar, Contemporary: A Dialogue on the Field.” Postmodern/Postwar—and After. Eds. Jason Gladstone, Andrew Hoberek, and Daniel Worden. University of Iowa Press. Collection under contract; forthcoming.
- “The Commons . . . and Digital Planetarity.” In The Planetary Turn: Art, Relationality, and Geoaesthetics in the 21st-Century. Eds. Amy J. Elias and Christian Moraru. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2015. 52 pp. typescript, forthcoming.
- (with Christian Moraru) “Introduction: The Planetary Condition.” In The Planetary Turn: Art, Relationality, and Geoaesthetics in the 21st-Century. Eds. Amy J. Elias and Christian Moraru. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2015. 54 pp. typescript, forthcoming.
- “Past / Future.” In Time: A Vocabulary of the Present. Eds. Joel Burges and Amy J. Elias. New York: New York University Press. 19 pp. typescript, forthcoming.
- (with Joel Burges) “Introduction: Time Studies Today.” In Time: A Vocabulary of the Present. Eds. Joel Burges and Amy J. Elias. New York: New York University Press. 35 pp. typescript, forthcoming
- “The Dialogical Avant-Garde: Relational Aesthetics and Time Ecologies in Only Revolutions and TOC.” Contemporary Literature (Special Issue: “Post-Millennial Commitments,” ed. David James and Andrzej Gasiorek) 53.4 (2013): 738-78.
- “Virtual Autobiography: Autographies, Interfaces, and Avatars.” The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Ed. Joe Bray, Alison Gibbons, and Brian McHale. London and New York: Routledge, 2012. 512-27.
- “Faithful Historicism and Philosophical Semi-Retirement.” The Limits of Literary Historicism. Eds. Allen Dunn and Thomas Haddox. Tennessee Studies in Literature Vol. 45. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2012. 29-53.
- “Metafiction.” The Cambridge Companion to American Fiction After 1945. Ed. John Duvall. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 15-29.
- “History.” The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon. Eds. Inger H. Dalsgaard, Luc Herman, Brian McHale. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 123-35.
- “Psychogeography, Détournement, Cyberspace.” New Literary History (Special issue, “What is an Avant-Garde?”) 41.4 (2011): 822-46.
- “Plots, Pilgrimage, and the Politics of Genre in Against the Day.” Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide. Ed. Jeffrey Severs and Christopher Leise. Delaware University Press, 2011. 29-46.
- “The Narrativity of Postconvergent Media: No Ghost Just a Shell and Rirkrit Tiravanija’s (ghost reader C.H.).” SubStance (Special Issue: Graphic Narratives and Narrative Theory, eds. David Herman and Jared Gardner.) 40.1 (2011): 182-202.
- “Narrative, Ideology, Critique.” Teaching Narrative Theory. Eds. James Phelan, Peter Rabinowitz, Brian McHale. NY: MLA of America, 2010. 281-94.
- “Postmodern Territories: Teaching Mason & Dixon and the Ideologies of Space.” Approaches to Teaching Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Other Works. Ed. Thomas Schaub. NY: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. NY: Modern Language Association of America. 130-40.
- “Interactive Cosmopolitanism and Collaborative Technologies: New Foundations for Global Literary History.” New Literary History 39.3 (2008): 705-25.
- “Critical Theory and Cultural Studies.” English Studies: An Introduction to the Discipline(s). Ed. Bruce McComiskey. Urbana, IL: NCTA, 2006. 223-75.
- “Metahistorical Romance, the Historical Sublime, and Dialogic History.” Re-thinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice. 9.2-3 (2005): 159-72.
- “Paranoia, Negative Theology, and Inductive Style.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 86.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2003). 281-313.
- “Postmodern Southern Vacation: Vacation Advertising, Globalization, and Southern Living.” South to a New Place. Ed. Suzanne Jones and Sharon Monteith. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002. 253-82.
- “Postmodern Southern Vacation: Vacation Advertising, Globalization, and Southern Living.” Critical Survey 12.1 (2000): 82-110.
- “Oscar Hijuelos’ The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, and Robert Coover’s The Public Burning.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 41.2 (2000): 115-28.
- “Fragments that Rune Up the Shores: Pushing the Bear, Coyote Aesthetics, and Recovered History.” Modern Fiction Studies 45.1 (1999): 185-211.
- “Holding Word Mongers On A Lunge Line: The Postmodernist Writings of Gerald Vizenor and Ishmael Reed.” Loosening the Seams: The Writings of Gerald Vizenor. Ed. A. Robert Lee. Popular Press, 1999. 131-66.
- “The Pynchon Intertext of Lempriere’s Dictionary.” Pynchon Notes 40-41 (Spring-Fall 1997): 28-40.
- “The Postmodern Turn On(:) The Enlightenment.” Contemporary Literature 37.4 (1996): 533-58.
- “Defining Spatial History in Postmodernist Fiction.” Postmodern Studies 11: Minor Genres and Narrative Turns in Postmodernism. Ed. Theo D’haen and Hans Bertens. Amsterdam: Rodopi,1995. 105-14.
- “Meta-Mimesis? The Problem of British Postmodern Realism.” Postmodern Studies 7: British Postmodern Fiction. Ed. Theo D’haen and Hans Bertens. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994. 9-31.
- “The Composition and Revision of Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned.” The Princeton University Library Chronicle 51.3 (1990): 254-66.
- “Pygmalion and Puttermesser.” Studies in American Jewish Literature 6 (1987): 64-74.
Book Reviews and short pieces published in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, American Book Review, Postmodern Culture, EBR: Electronic Book Review, Rethinking History, Mississippi Quarterly, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Contemporary Literature, University of Toronto Quarterly.
- “The Contemporary, As Soon As Possible: Periodization vs. Relationality.” Stanford Colloquium on “The Contemporary.” Stanford Humanities Center, May 30, 2014. https://thecontemporary.stanford.edu/2014-colloquium#videos
- Radio Broadcast: WPR: Wisconsin Public Radio, To the Best of Our Knowledge, 2003.
- Show title: “Post-Postmodernism: Are We There Yet?” Archived online at http://www.ttbook.org/book/post-postmodernism-are-we-there-yet