S. Elise Archias


PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Art History
MA, University of California, Berkeley, Art History
BA, University of California, Berkeley, Art History



305 Henry Hall

Elise Archias’s research and classes center around modernism, performance art, and contemporary art, asking questions about the relationship between abstract ideas and physical materials and needs in 20th- and 21st-century life and aesthetics. Her book, The Concrete Body – Yvonne Rainer, CaroleeSchneemann, Vito Acconci (Yale University Press, 2016), 2015 Miess/Mellon Author's Book Award winner, explores the ways the use of the body as a material in the work of three prominent performance artists revised modernist aesthetics for the 1960s as part of a broader critique of everyday life within spectacle culture. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008 and worked as an assistant professor at California State University, Chico, before coming to UIC. She has presented her work on performance and sculpture in various venues nationally and internationally, and was a scholar at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center in 2011. In February 2014 at CAA she chaired the panel "Carolee Schneemann and the Long Sixties," and received UIC's ICAH award for collaborative research with graduate student Becky Bivens for their seminar at the Modernist Studies Conference, "Beyond the Autonomy/Relationality Binary" in November 2014. In spring 2016, she will be a fellow at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. She has advised master’s theses on Sharon Hayes’s public love letters, public sculpture as a site of performative activism, and the abstract painting of Pat Passlof. 

Courses Taught

AH 100 Introduction to Art and Art History
AH 160 Trends in International and Contemporary Art Since 1960
AH 208 History of Performance Art, 1900-present
AH 460 Writing About Performance Art
AH 561 The Concrete Body: Performance in the 1960s
AH 561 Abstraction and Structure Circa 1960