The Resonance of Unseen Things: Poetics, Power, Captivity and UFOs in the American Uncanny

Susan Lepselter
Publication Date
2016
Website
University of Michigan Press

The Resonance of Unseen Things offers an ethnographic meditation on the uncanny persistence and cultural freight of conspiracy theory. The project is a reading of conspiracy theory as an index of a certain strain of late 20th-century American despondency and malaise, especially as understood by people experiencing downward social mobility.

Written by a cultural anthropologist with a literary background, this deeply interdisciplinary book focuses on the enduring American preoccupation with captivity in a rapidly transforming world. Captivity is a trope that appears in both ordinary and fantastic iterations here, and Susan Lepselter shows how multiple troubled historiesof race, class, gender, and powerbecome compressed into stories of uncanny memory.