Christopher Elias was born and raised in Massachusetts. After completing his undergraduate degree in history at Brown University, he earned a MAT in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi and a MA in history from Ohio State University. He then returned to Brown to complete a PhD in American Studies.

Chris teaches a variety of courses at St. Olaf, including: US History before/after Reconstruction; Race, Gender, and Sports in America; Gossip and Misinformation in American Politics; the Vietnam War in American Memory; The History of American Masculinity; and Sexuality in American Film. 

His scholarly work examines issues of culture and identity in twentieth century America. He has written on a variety of topics, including 1950s gossip magazines, spirituality and gender in the work of filmmaker Terrence Malick, masculine nationalism in James Joyce's fiction, and national identity in German war cemetery design. His essays and commentary have been published by Slate, OutHistory, and Notches.

His first book--which explores the interaction of gossip, sexual politics, and national security by examining the lives and careers of J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, and Roy Cohn--is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.

Chris's current research centers on immigration, eugenics, and criminality in Depression-era Colorado.