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Wednesday, October 10 • 4:30pm - 5:45pm
Conspiracy Theories, Captivity, and UFOs

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In The Resonance of Unseen Things: Poetics, Power, Captivity, and UFOs in the American Uncanny, cultural anthropologist Susan Lepselter offers an ethnographic meditation on the “uncanny” persistence and cultural freight of conspiracy theory. The book focuses on the enduring American preoccupation with captivity in a rapidly transforming world-- a trope that appears in both ordinary and fantastic iterations here. Lepselter shows how multiple troubled histories—of race, class, gender, and power—become compressed into stories of uncanny memory. As Jeffrey J. Kripal, Professor of Religion at Rice University, notes: “The author’s semiotic approach to the paranormal is immensely productive, positive, and, above all, resonant with what actually happens in history.”

avatar for Susan Lepselter

Susan Lepselter

Susan Lepselter is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Associate Professor of Folklore at Indiana University. Her interdisciplinary work focuses on narrative, poetics and culture, and includes studies of captivity narratives, hoarding disorder, and online neurodivergent... Read More →