Scholar of the Week
Amy Elias, professor of English, specializes in contemporary literature, the novel, narrative theory, and the contemporary arts. Her co-edited collection, The Planetary Turn: Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century, was published in April by Northwestern University Press. The Planetary Turn considers the rise of geo-culture as a framework for arts criticism, and it argues that “the living planet is emerging as distinct from older concepts of globalization, cosmopolitanism, and environmentalism and is becoming a new ground for exciting work in contemporary literature, visual and media arts, and social humanities.” That twelve essays that Elias and her co-editor Christian Moraru have assembled “illustrate the unfolding of a new vision of potential planetary community that retools earlier models based on the nation-state or political “blocs” and reimagines cultural, political, aesthetic, and ethical relationships for the post–Cold War era.” Another collection, co-edited with Joel Burges and titled Time: A Vocabulary for the Present, features work by twenty international arts scholars and is contracted with NYU Press for 2016 publication.
Elias was the principal founder in 2006 of ASAP: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, an international, multi-disciplinary society that brings together scholars, theorists, and practitioners from a range of arts fields. She was the organizing chair for the 2009 launch ASAP conference, which brought more than 115 international scholars to Knoxville. With Jonathan Eburne of the Pennsylvania State University, she has recently established a new journal in contemporary arts, ASAP/Journal, which will be published for the first time next year by Johns Hopkins University Press. She is sole editor of the first ASAP/Journal issue, titled “Art and the Commons.” Elias is currently completing a book entitled Dialogue at the End of the World.