Susan Lepselter

Susan Lepselter

Associate Professor, American Studies


  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2005

Honors and Awards

  • Departmental Nominee, Best University Dissertation at University of Texas, 2004-2005.
  • Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Award, 1998.
  • Rhonda L. Andrews Memorial Award, 1998.
  • Professional Development Awards, by the University of Texas, 1994 and 1996.



  • American Captivity Narratives
  • Gender, Nature and Culture
  • Ethnography of Everyday Life


Her research explores the poetics of both popular media and everyday life in contemporary American culture, focusing particularly on captivity narratives, themes of gender and class, and discourses of memory and trauma in American social life.

Selected Publications

“UFOs: 1947-2006.” Invited Review Article. Forthcoming in the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences.

2005 “The License.” In Writing Outer Spaces, ed. Debbora Battaglia. Duke University Press.

2005 “Why Rachel Isn’t Buried in her Grave.” In Histories of the Future, eds. Susan Harding and Daniel Rosenberg. Duke University Press.

1999 Book Review of Auto/biography, Deborah Reed-Danahay, ed. Biography (22.4).

1998 “The Politics and Poetics of Folklore: The Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, 1937-1947.” Roma (44-45).

1997 “From the Earth Native’s Point of View: The Earth, The Extraterrestrial and the Natural Ground of Home.” Public Culture 9(2): 197-208.

1993 “Genre and Competence in Discourse.” SALSA I: Texas Linguistic Forum vol. 33:13-20.

“Topic of Transformation: Some Aspects of Myth and Metaphor.” Studies in American Indian Literatures, vol. 10: 148-160.