Susan Zieger

Susan Zieger

Professor of English
Ph.D. U.C. Berkeley

Susan Zieger (B.A., Dartmouth College, MSc., London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) specializes in nineteenth-century British and related literatures and cultures, with an emphasis on the novel, ephemera, and other mass media forms. Her first book, Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature (University of Massachusetts Press), describes how metaphors of addiction such as exile, self-enslavement, and disease circulated through literature and culture to forge the new identity of the addict. Her second book, forthcoming from Fordham University Press in 2018, is The Mediated Mind: Affect, Ephemera, and Consumerism in the Nineteenth Century. The book contends that our twenty-first century moment of digital media saturation was formed through nineteenth-century encounters with printed ephemera. Zieger is currently researching Logistical Subjects, a cultural history of the rise of efficient shipping and transportation in commercial and military spheres since 1800. In 2019, she will hold a visiting fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin to support this project.



  • “Habitual Media, 1800-1920” forthcoming in The Bloomsbury Cultural History of the Media, 1800-1920
  • “Cheiro, Galton, and the Art of Reading Hands and Fingers” forthcoming in Cabinet
  • “The Last Black Temperance Activist: Frances Harper and the Black Public Sphere” forthcoming in Southern Comforts: Drinking and the U.S. South (Louisiana State University Press, 2018).
  • “‘Miss X’: Telepathy and Affect at Fin-de-siècle” Victorian Literature and Culture 46:2 (June 2018), 347-364
  • Special Issue of Amodern on “Ephemera and Ephemerality,” co-edited with Priti Joshi; includes “Before Rorschach: Ink Blots, Accidents, and Ephemera” December 2017
  • “Du Maurier’s Paris: Peter Ibbetson, Haussmann, and Industrial Memory” in George Du Maurier: Illustrator, Critic, Author … Beyond Svengali ed. Simon Cooke. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2016).
  • “Affect and Logistics: Trollope’s Postal Work” Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature no. 128 (Fall 2015), 226-244.
  • “Holmes’s Pipe, Tobacco Papers, and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of Media Addiction” in The Journal of Victorian Culture 19:1 (March 2014), 24-42.
  • “‘Du Maurierness’ and the Mediatization of Memory” Victorian Studies 56:1 (Autumn 2013), 31-57.
  • “Smoking, Reading, Daydreaming.” Cabinet 51 (Autumn 2013), 35-40.
  • “The Case of William Seabrook: Documents, Haiti, and the Working Dead.” modernism / modernity 19:4 (September 2012)
  • “Opium, Alcohol, Tobacco: The Substances of Memory in The Moonstone” in The Blackwell Companion to Sensation Fiction, ed. Pamela Gilbert, 2011.
  • “The Dandy, the Soldier, and the Cigarette: Under Two Flags and the Late Victorian Culture of Smoking.” Nineteenth-Century Studies 23 (2009), 87-104
  • “Dickens’s Queer Children.” Literature Interpretation Theory 20:1-2 (Jan.-June 2009), 141-157.
  • Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature (University of Massachusetts Press, 2008).
  • “Victorian Hallucinogens.” Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (February 2008). Special Issue #49: Interdisciplinarity and the Body at
  • “Impostors of Freedom: Southern White Manhood, Hypodermic Morphine, and E.P. Roe’s Without a Home” American Literature 80:3 (September 2008), 527-554.
  • “Pioneering Inner Space: Drug Autobiography and U.S. Imperialism.” PMLA 122: 5 (October 2007), 1531-47. Special issue, “Remapping Genre,” edited by Wai Chee Dimock and Bruce Robbins.
  • “Queering the Drug Diary: Go Ask Alice and its Victorian Genealogies.” Genre 39:1 (spring 2006), 89-114
  • “‘How Far Am I Responsible?’: Women and Morphinomania in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain.” Victorian Studies 48:1 (Autumn 2005), 59-81.
  • “Sex and the Citizen in Sex in the City’s New York.” In Kim Akass and Janet McCabe (eds.), Reading Sex and the City. New York: I. B. Tauris, 2004: 97-111.
  • “Disciplining Addiction.” Review of Ed. Jane Lillienfeld and Jeffrey Oxford’s The Languages of Addiction, (St. Martin’s Press, 1999). Journal of Medical Humanities, 22:4 (Winter 2001), pp. 318-321.
  • “Addiction in the Nineteenth Century.” John van Wyhe (ed.), The Victorian Web, (summer 2002).


  • Committee on Research Award, UCR, 2010-2012 and 2016-2017
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2006-2007
  • Center for Ideas and Society Fellowship, UCR Fall 2006 and Winter 2014
  • Faculty Research Development Award, UCR 2004-5
  • Huntington Library Fellowship, Summer 2005


  • ENGL 267, “Affect and the Nineteenth-Century Novel” (W2016)
  • ENGL 273, “Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, and the Frankfurt School” (F 2011, W2015)
  • ENGL 267, “Late Victorian Media Technologies and the Novel” (W 2011, F 2013)
  • ENGL 142F, “Victorian Popular Culture” (S2016)
  • ENGL 172T, “The Poetry of Darkness: Poe, Baudelaire, Swinburne” (W2016)
  • ENGL 172T, “Mysteries of the Nineteenth-Century City
  • ENGL 172T, “Decadence” (S2008, F2009, F2014, F2016)