Paul Saint-Amour works on Victorian and modernist literature and has special interests in the novel, law, trauma, visual culture, and sound studies. After receiving his B.A. from Yale and his Ph.D. from Stanford, he taught at Pomona College for ten years before joining the Penn faculty. He has been a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Center for the Humanities at Cornell, and the National Humanities Center. Saint-Amour's The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination (Cornell UP, 2003) won the MLA Prize for a First Book. His articles have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature Studies, Critical Inquiry, Diacritics, ELH, Modernism/modernity, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Novel, PMLA, Post 45, Public Books, Theory, Culture, and Society, and Representations, whose special “Counterfactuals” issue he co-edited with Catherine Gallagher and Mark Maslan. With Robert Spoo and Joseph Jenkins he co-edited a special "Futures of Fair Use" issue of Law and Literature. In 2018 he edited a special issue of Modernism/modernity on weak theory.
In 2012-2013 Saint-Amour served as President of the Modernist Studies Association. A few years ago he chaired a fact-finding panel initiated by the International James Joyce Foundation (IJJF) to study the permissions history and criteria of the Estate of James Joyce and the general problem of scholarly fair use. The panel produced a detailed FAQ, "James Joyce: Copyright, Fair Use, and Permissions." Saint-Amour is currently a trustee of the IJJF and a member of the supervising committee of the English Institute. He also chairs the faculty editorial board of the University of Pennsylvania Press and serves on the editorial board of PMLA.
Saint-Amour co-edits, with Jessica Berman, the Modernist Latitudes book series at Columbia UP. He edited the volume Modernism and Copyright (2011) for Oxford UP's Modernist Literature and Culture series. His most recent book, Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form (Oxford UP, 2015), won the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize and the MLA's first annual Matei Calinescu Prize.