Julie Ellison is Professor of American Culture and English and Faculty Associate in the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. She is well known for her work in promoting public engagement in higher education, particularly initiatives relating to socially responsive scholarship and creative work in the humanities and arts. As the lead organizer of Citizen Alum, Ellison serves on the National Council of the American Commonwealth Partnership (ACP).
From its founding at a White House conference in 1999 until its move from the University of Michigan to Syracuse University in 2007, Ellison served as Director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a consortium of more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities and an ACP partner. Ellison co-authored, with Timothy K. Eatman, a policy report on Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University (May 2008). Her essay, “This American Life: How are the Humanities Public?” (January 2009), was commissioned for the Humanities Indicators Prototype of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her current book project is “Doing Cultural Projects: American Universities and the New Public Humanities.” Her most recent essay, “Lyric Citizenship in Post 9/11 Performance: Sekou Sundiata’s the 51st (dream) state,” appears in American Literary Aesthetics, eds. Christopher Looby and Cindy Weinstein (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).
Ellison’s undergraduate studies were at Harvard, where she graduated magna cum laude in American History and Literature. She received her Ph.D. in English from Yale in 1980. She has received an NEH fellowship, along with other research grants and awards. She lectured in New Zealand as a Fulbright Senior Specialist and has worked collaboratively with academics and artists in South Africa for a number of years. Chicago University Press published her third scholarly book, Cato’s Tears and the Making of Anglo-American Emotion in 1999. Her previous books include Emerson’s Romantic Style (Princeton, 1984) and Delicate Subjects (Cornell, 1990). Her articles have appeared in American Literature, Studies in Romanticism, American Literary History, Critical Inquiry, ELH, MLQ, and a number of edited volumes.