Elaine Auyoung

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Room 50B Lind Hall
207 Church St SE

Elaine Auyoung is McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Assistant Professor of English, and Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Cognitive Sciences. She specializes in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, the global history and theory of the novel, and the psychology of reading. Her first book, When Fiction Feels Real: Representation and the Reading Mind (Oxford, 2018), provides literary studies with a new cross-disciplinary method for examining the relationship between novelistic technique and literary experience, focusing on how realist writers from Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy bring readers into intimate relation with fictional persons and worlds. Professor Auyoung's essays have appeared in Victorian Studies, The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: English, Harvard University.
  • BA: English with Honors and with Distinction, Stanford University.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Nineteenth-century British literature and culture
  • History and theory of the novel
  • Reading and fictionality
  • Psychological and aesthetic approaches to the arts
Courses Taught
  • ENGL 5510. Reading and Readers
  • ENGL 5150. Nineteenth-Century Realism
  • ENGL 4152. Nineteenth-Century British Novel
  • ENGL 3004W. Survey of British Literature and Culture II
  • ENGL 3001W. Textual Analysis, Methods
  • ENGL 1701. Modern Fiction
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Member: MLA Executive Committee on Cognitive and Affect Studies , 2018 - 2023
  • Auyoung, Elaine. When Fiction Feels Real: Representation and the Reading Mind. Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Auyoung, Elaine. “Phantoms and Fictional Persons: Hardy’s Phenomenology of Loss.”Victorian Studies 59 (2017): 399-408.
  • Auyoung, Elaine, eds. Dino Felluga, Pamela K. Gilbert, and Linda K. Hughes. "Cognitive Studies." The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature (2015):
  • Auyoung, Elaine, ed. Lisa Zunshine. "Rethinking the Reality Effect: Detail and the Novel." The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies (2015): 581-592.
  • Auyoung, Elaine. "Standing Outside Bleak House." Nineteenth-Century Literature 68 (2013):
  • Auyoung, Elaine, eds. Lars Bernaerts, Dirk de Geest, Luc Herman, Bart Vervaeck. "Partial Cues and Narrative Understanding in Anna Karenina." Stories and Minds: Cognitive Approaches to Literary Narrative (2013): 59-76.
  • Auyoung, Elaine. "The Sense of Something More in Art and Experience." Style 44 (2010):
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2018 - 2020
  • Imagine Fund Annual Award, 2017 - 2018
  • Single-Semester Leave, University of Minnesota, Fall 2017
  • Faculty Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, Fall 2014
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2011 - 2013
  • Harper-Schmidt Fellowship in the Humanities, University of Chicago, 2011 (declined)
  • Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, 2011
  • Graduate Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2009 - 2010