I owe the term “aesthetic exceptionalism” to Olivia C. Harrison, who casually suggested it one late night when I was struggling to come up with a lecture title. Thanks to Michael Pisaro for his help with the permissions request for reproducing the Courtney Barnett lyric. My research assistants Claudia Grigg Edo and Carl Schmitz (sic!) saved me much time and effort. I am grateful to my friends Sarah Brouillette, Alex Robbins, and Martin Woessner for their insightful comments on various drafts of the manuscript. I also want to thank Becky Kolsrud for welcoming my interest in her work.