Associate Professor, English
Modernism; 20th/21st-century British literature; Irish studies; Caribbean and diasporic literature; Art theory, archives & visual culture; Eco-studies; Queer theory and gender studies.

Old Main, 206


Amy E. Elkins (Ph.D., Emory University; M.A., University of Virginia; B.A., Hendrix College) teaches courses on twentieth and twenty-first century literature and interdisciplinary studies. Professor Elkins has special interests in art theory and visual culture, intersectional feminist approaches to the archive and cultural history, and experimental/multimedia academic writing. She has served as the Modern Language Association’s elected delegate for Women and Gender in the Profession and has received fellowships from Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Rare Books School, and the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. As an artist, theorist, and scholar, she emphasizes a dynamic, global approach to research and student-driven inquiry across media. She received Macalester’s Educator of the Year award for 2020-2021. 

She is the author of Crafting Feminism from Literary Modernism to the Multimedia Present (Oxford University Press, 2022) and is at work on a new project that considers theories of fluidity, flux, and flow in the cultural history of bathing rituals, geothermal springs, and other immersive experiences—and archives—of wellbeing. Her essays have appeared in journals such as PMLAContemporary LiteratureInterdisciplinary Literary Studies, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. 

Professor Elkins is also a public humanities scholar who interviews writers on visual culture for the Los Angeles Review of Books. In addition to collaborative and multimedia writing in venues such as Modernism/Modernity Print +, Post45 Contemporaries, and Inscription Journal, she is passionate about conversations that cross the art-scholarship divide. She was recently in conversation with Ocean Vuong for the Novel Dialogue podcast and did a lecture and reading with Lorna Goodison at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

Areas of Study

  • Modernism
  • 20th/21st-century British literature
  • Irish studies
  • Caribbean and diasporic literature
  • Art theory, archives & visual culture
  • Eco-studiesQueer theory and gender studies

Fall 2023 Courses

  • ENGL 262-01 Studies in Literature and the Natural World: Rural Outcasts
  • ENGL 386-01 From Literature to Film, Studies in Adaptation: Virginia Woolf and Cinema
  • ENGL 400-01 Special Topics in Literary Studies: Picture This! Literature and Photography

Spring 2024 – On leave


Selected Publications

“Sequences of Touch: Wool Roving, Dried Flowers, Linen Rags, Rotten Potatoes,” co-authored with Sheryda Warrener, Claire Battershill, and Jayme Collins. Inscription: The Journal of Material Text—Theory, Practice, History (Forthcoming, October 2023). 

“Ali Smith’s Leavings: Postcards, Letters, and the Unbound Book,” with Deidre Shauna Lynch. Post45 Contemporaries, May 2022. online.

“The Weaver’s Handshake,” a film-essay. Special issue of MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture on “Craft,” December 2021. online.

“’Draw deep from your palette’: Lorna Goodison’s Poetics of Pigment,” Contemporary Literature 61.1 (Spring 2020): 89-117.

“Typestruck: On Women and Writing Machines,” co-written with Glenn Adamson,
Modernism/Modernity Print+ Visualities series, edited by Alix Beeston, July 2020. online.

“Uncovering Jean McConville: Seamus Heaney’s Poetic Cartography of the Disappeared,” with Roan O’Neill (collaborative research project with Macalester advisee, funding from Mellon Foundation Lifelong Learners), Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 22.3 (2020): 218-39.

“From the Gutter to the Gallery: Berenice Abbott Photographs Mina Loy’s Assemblages,” PMLA Little Known Documents 134.5 (2019): 1094-1103.