W&L Art History Professor Selected as Vice President of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism Elliott King was elected to the position at the organization’s 2023 conference.
Elliott King, associate professor of art history at Washington and Lee University, was elected vice president of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) at the organization’s 2023 conference held Nov. 11-14 in Houston.
King is a founding board member of the association and previously served as treasurer. He will now serve a two-year term as vice president, before taking over as president starting in 2025.
“Particularly as we enter 2024, the centenary year of the ‘Surrealist Manifesto,’ there is an extraordinary academic interest in surrealism,” King said. “Scholars are looking at the subject more broadly in terms of geography, chronology, race, gender and sexuality, and forging genuine connections with the many surrealist groups that continue to thrive in various places around the world. It’s an amazing time to be studying surrealism — and honestly, ISSS has played a big role in that. It’s such an honor to be elected VP of this important organization that has become central to the vibrant field of surrealism studies.”
Founded in 2016 and officially offering membership in 2018, the ISSS is an international, interdisciplinary organization devoted to surrealism studies. It now has approximately 250 active members worldwide. The organization features a dedicated academic journal and a book series, as well as hosts an annual conference. The 2023 ISSS conference featured 126 speakers representing 21 countries.
King, who specializes in surrealist art and thought, is the author of two books, “Dalí, Surrealism, and Cinema” and “Radical Dreams: Surrealism, Counterculture, Resistance.” The latter was co-edited with Abigail Susik and shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association’s Edition, Anthology, or Essay Collection Book Prize for 2023. King is also currently co-curating an exhibition titled “Salvador Dalí: Les Chants de Maldoror” with Dr. Michael Taylor of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the exhibition will be displayed in W&L’s Staniar Gallery starting Jan. 11, 2024, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Surrealist Manifesto.
King has been a member of the W&L faculty since 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of Denver, a Master of Arts in history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a Ph.D. in art history and theory from the University of Essex (U.K.).