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Meet Our Team

Amy J. Elias

"The humanities are not a condiment. They are the main course of life, the essential core of meaning in the world, where our values and our best selves are defined."


Amy J. Elias is Professor of English, is affiliated faculty with UT Cinema Studies and UT American Studies, and is a fellow at the UT Center for the Study of Social Justice. Her research centers on contemporary literature, narrative theory, and cross-disciplinary aesthetics and she is the author or editor of three books, Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction, which won the George and Barbara Perkins Book Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative; Time: A Vocabulary of the Present; and The Planetary Turn: Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the 21st Century. She was the principal founder of ASAP: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present and the founding co-editor of ASAP’s scholarly periodical ASAP/Journal, which won the 2017 Council of Editors of Learned Journals Award for Best New Journal Design and the 2018 CELJ award for best new journal, and she has been special issue editor of issues 1.1 (Art and the Commons) and 3.2 (Protest: Rules of Engagement). She is finishing up a book on dialogue at the end of the world.

Thought: “Somebody or something did not wish me to be a nihilist." – Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

Read her welcome letter.

Monica Black

Associate Director

Monica Black is Professor of history. She is a historian of modern Europe whose research focuses on the cultural and social history of Germany, with an emphasis on the era of the World Wars and the decades immediately after 1945. She is the editor of the journal Central European History. Black is also the author of Death in Berlin: From Weimar to Divided Germany (2010, awarded the 2010 Fraenkel Prize and the 2011 Hans Rosenberg Prize) and A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany (2020), translated and published in a Dutch edition with Brazilian, German, Polish, Russian, and Taiwanese editions in preparation. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University, and the American Academy in Berlin, among others.

Thought: “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.” – John Williams, from his novel Stoner

Katie Hodges-Kluck

Communications & Marketing Coordinator

Katie Hodges-Kluck is a doctoral graduate of UT’s history program (2015) and former Humanities Center graduate research fellow. After completing her degree, Katie taught for a year as a lecturer in the UT History Department and served as coordinator for undergraduate research for the UTHC, then spent nearly six years as program coordinator for the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She rejoined the Humanities Center in 2022. Prior to coming to UT, she worked in public outreach and historical interpretation at two US national parks as well as at George Washington’s childhood home. In 2018, Hodges-Kluck was a finalist in the highly competitive Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, an initiative promoting the visibility and value of the humanities PhD beyond the academy. Katie’s research examines the role of religion, myth, and memory in shaping political ideologies and cultural identities, particularly in England during the Angevin period (1154-1216 CE).

Thought: “History…represents the past as though present to sight; it indicates the future through the past by imagination” – Henry of Huntingdon, c. 1150

Molly Royse

Humanities Librarian

Molly Royse, UT Libraries’ Humanities Librarian for Classics and English, serves as the Liaison Librarian for the Humanities Center. She works with the Graduate Fellows to make library purchases in support of their research and is also available to counsel in research and library matters, linking Fellows to other library or campus resources as needed. Graduate Fellows should direct library collection requests and research inquiries to or 974-3652.

Hannah Schmidt

Arts & Humanities Grants Liaison

Hannah Schmidt is a research development manager in the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED) at UT. Her role in both ORIED and the Humanities Center is to guide arts and humanities faculty who are interested in seeking external funds for their research in finding funding opportunities, writing compelling narratives, and navigating the often thorny application process. Prior to coming to UT, she worked at an art logistics company in New York, Scientific American magazine, and as the assistant to a Renaissance sculpture dealer. She has a Master’s from the University of St Andrews in Art History.

Stephanie Wall

Budget Manager

Stephanie Wall is a financial and business administrator based in UT's College of Arts & Sciences. She serves as the budget manager for the UT Humanities Center.

Holly Jackson-Sullivan

Development Officer

Holly Jackson-Sullivan is the development director for humanities in the College of Arts & Sciences at UT.  Prior to joining the University in June 2013, Holly held various executive roles in business and non-profits both in East Tennessee and South Carolina before spending almost a decade as Vice President for Advancement, Community Relations and Marketing at Maryville College.

Thought: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

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