Skip to main content

Skip page navigation

Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Susan Lepselter « Committee on NAIS

Picture of Susan Lepselter

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Office: Student Building 164
Phone: 856-3878
E-mail: slepselt at


I was an English major as an undergraduate and worked as a writer for years before deciding to pursue the PhD in Folklore and Social Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. My intellectual work applies my long-term interest in language and narrative to social and cultural life in America. My book project is an ethnographic study of the uncanny in America, focusing on how people tell stories about UFO experience and everyday life and linking these to a deep tradition of American Indian captivity narratives in popular culture. Along with the narrative and poetic expressions of everyday life, I am particularly interested in issues of class, gender, and the representation of Native Americans in America.

Relevant Courses

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

Selected Recent Publications

Forthcoming. The Politics and Poetics of Excess: Hoarding Stories and Neoliberal Strategies of Consumption. Anthropological Quarterly.

2007. Unidentified Flying Objects: 1947-2006. Invited review article. In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2d edition, ed. William A. Darity, Jr. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

2005. The License: Poetics, Power, and the Uncanny. In E.T. Culture: Anthropology in Outerspaces, ed. Debbora Battaglia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

2005. Why Rachel Isn't Buried at Her Grave: Ghosts, UFOs, and a Place in the West. In Histories of the Future, ed. Daniel Rosenberg and Susan Harding. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.