Emory Elliott's Profile

Emory Elliott (1942-2009) was one of North America's most distinguished literary historians, an expert on Puritan writing, a notable friend of the nascent discipline of Women's Studies in the 1980s, an early champion of the writing of Toni Morrison, a consistent champion of equality of opportunity, an inspiring teacher and a tireless supporter of younger colleagues. The son of working-class parents, he was the first of his family to achieve a college education (Loyola College, Baltimore; University of Illinois) and rose to become Chair of the American Studies at Princeton, and later chair of the English Department. From 1989 he was Professor of American Literature at the University of California, Riverside, and Director of the Riverside Centre for Ideas and Society. He was nominated to the distinguished rank of University Professor by California University in 2001. He was the author of Power and the Pulpit in Puritan New England (1975), Revolutionary Writers: Literature and Authority in the New Republic (1982), American Puritan Literature, Volume One of The Cambridge History of American Literature (1993). He edited the Columbia Literary History of the United States (1988), American Literature: A Prentice Hall Anthology (1991), and the Columbia History of the American Novel (1991). He was an NEH, American Council of Learned Societies, Guggenheim and National Humanities Center Fellow, and chair of the American Studies Association. Emory Elliott helped to found The Literary Encyclopedia in 1998 and helped it through its first decade of life.