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Elliott (Robert) Papers
MSS 0127  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Robert Elliott Papers
    Creator: Elliott, Robert C., 1914-1981
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0127
    Physical Description: 5.6 Linear feet (14 archives boxes, 1 oversize folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1946-1981
    Abstract: Papers of Robert Carl Elliott (1914-1981), scholar and professor of literature. Elliott specialized in the study of satire and its relationship to utopian societies. The collection includes manuscripts of writings by Elliott, correspondence with friends and colleagues, and material related to the development of UC San Diego.
    Languages: English .

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Robert Elliott Papers consist of correspondence, writings, and materials related to Elliott's administrative and academic work at Ohio State University (1946-1963) and the University of California, San Diego (1964-1981). The collection includes materials related to political events and issues of academic freedom and free speech at both campuses. The papers span the years 1946-1981, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960-1970. Arranged in nine series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS, 3) OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MATERIALS; 4) UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS; 5) UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO LITERATURE DEPARTMENT; 6) MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION; 7) LITERATURE CONFERENCES; 8) MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS and 9) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.


    Robert Carl Elliott (1914-1981) received a bachelor of arts degree from Wabash College (1936), a master of arts degree from Columbia University (1937), and a Ph.D. from Brown University (1946). He first taught English at the University of Hawaii (1937-1939, 1941) and later joined the faculty at Ohio State University in 1946, attaining the rank of professor in 1959.
    During the Second World War, Elliott served in the Navy as a combat intelligence officer in the Pacific theatre. He was discharged in 1946 as a lieutenant and received the Bronze Star.
    Elliott's career at the University of California, San Diego began in 1964 when he was recruited to help found the Department of Literature. He later served as department chairman (1968-1971). While at UCSD, Elliott chaired the Committee on Academic Personnel and served on the Budget Committee.
    Elliott received a Ford Foundation fellowship (1952-1953) to pursue research at Yale University and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grant (1962) to study utopian literature. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the International Association of University Professors of English, PEN, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the English Institute (chairman, 1978), the Modern Language Association, the American Association of University Professors (president of the Ohio State chapter, 1963-1964), and the American Comparative Literature Association.
    Perhaps Elliott's most important contribution to literature is his work on satire and its role in the creation of utopian societies in literature. A major argument of Elliott's "The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre," is that satire and utopian writing have a common origin, as evidenced by the development of the two genres. Rather than Plato's Republic being the original utopia, Elliott contends that myths of the Golden Age, as passed down during Saturnalian feasts, which both venerated and ridiculed the Golden Age, were instead the precursors of utopian genre literature.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Robert Elliott Papers, MSS 127. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1981.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Satire -- History and criticism
    Persona (Literature)
    Utopias in literature
    Elliott, Robert C., 1914-1981 -- Archives
    Said, Edward W. -- Correspondence
    Marcuse, Herbert, 1898-1979 -- Correspondence
    Martin, Jay -- Correspondence
    Wright, Andrew, 1923-2009 -- Correspondence
    Stillinger, Jack -- Correspondence
    University of California, San Diego. Department of Literature -- Archives
    Allen, Don Cameron, 1903-1972 -- Correspondence
    Bate, Walter Jackson, 1918-1999 -- Correspondence
    Erdman, David V. -- Correspondence
    Hunter, J. Paul, 1934- -- Correspondence
    Pearce, Roy Harvey -- Correspondence