Susan Zieger

Susan Zieger

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

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, The Mediated Mind: Affect, Ephemera, and Consumerism in the Nineteenth Century (Fordham University Press, 2018), 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 Life, a cultural history of the rise of logistics and its relationship to modern consumption, from 1750 to the present. In winter and spring 2019, she held a visiting fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin to support this project. In fall 2019, she was a visiting professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, in the Digital Life Research Group. With Nicole Starosielski and Matt Hockenberry, she is editing the volume Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media, forthcoming from Duke University Press.



  • The Aesthetic Life of Infrastructure: Race, Resilience, Extraction co-edited with Kelly Mee Rich and Nicole Rizzuto. Forthcoming from Northwestern University Press. 
  • Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media co-edited with Nicole Starosielski and Matt Hockenberry. Forthcoming from Duke University Press, 2020.
  • ” ‘Shipped’: Paper, Print, and the Atlantic Slave Trade” in Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media. 
  • “Back on the Chain Gang: Logistics, Labor, and the Threat of Infrastructure” forthcoming in Cultural Studies, special issue on Environment / Infrastructure eds. Adriana Johnson and Daniel Nemser.
  • “Habitual Media, 1800-1920” forthcoming in The Bloomsbury Cultural History of the Media, 1800-1920
  • “Written on the Body: Cheiro, Francis Galton, and the Reading of Hands” Cabinet 65 (Fall 2017-Winter 2018).
  • “The Last Black Temperance Activist: Frances Harper and the Black Public Sphere” in Southern Comforts: Drinking and the U.S. South (Louisiana State University Press, 2020).
  • “‘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).


  • UCHRI Collaborative Research Residency, “Reading for Infrastructure” co-organized with Adriana Johnson, Summer 2020
  • Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, 2019
  • 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, F2018)
  • 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)
  • ENGL 172T, “Fifty Shades of Victorian Poetry”