Susan Willis

Susan Willis

Associate Professor Emeritus of Literature

External address: 
Literature, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708-0670
(919) 668-6204

Associate Professor of English and The Literature Program. She teaches courses in minority writing and popular culture. She is the author of "Specifying: Black Women Writing the American Experience" and "A Primer for Daily Life." She is coauthor of "Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World." Her work aims at revealing the contradictions of capitalism in everyday life and discovering utopian content in culture.


  • Ph.D., University of California at San Diego 1977
  • B.A., University of California at San Diego 1970

Willis, Susan, et al. Strip Cultures: Finding America in Las Vegas. Duke University Press, 2015.

Willis, S. Cartas a Legba: Um Texto Encontrado. Boitempo, 2008.

Willis, S., et al. Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World. Duke University Press, 1995.

Willis, S. A Primer for Daily Life. Routledge, 1991.

Willis, S. Specifying: Black Women Writing the American Experience. University of Wisconsin Press, 1986.

Willis, S. “John Muir's Sojourn in Bonaventure Cemetery.” The Good Gardener? Nature, Human, and the Garden, edited by Annette Giesecke and Naomi Jacobs, Artifice, 2014.

Willis, S. “Bitta-Blue Farm and the Summer of BP.” Earth Perfect? Nature, Utopia and the Garden, edited by Annette Giesecke and Naomi Jacobs, Black Dog, 2012.

Willis, S. “Photos: Shadowing an Enigma.” Jean Baudrillard, edited by Francois L’Yvonnet, Cahier de l’Herne, 2005.

Willis, S. “Disney’s Besitary.” Rethinking Disney: Private Control, Public Dimensions, edited by Mike Budd, Wesleyan University Press, 2005.

Willis, S. “Imagining Dinosaurs.” Girls, Boys, Toys, Gender: An Anthology of Children’s Culture, edited by Beverly Clark and Margaret Higonnet, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Willis, S. “Teens at Work: Negotiating the Jobless Future.” Generations of Youth, edited by Joe Austin and Mike Willard, NYU Press, 1998.

Willis, S. “Play for Profit.” Feminisms and Pedagogies of Everyday Life, edited by Carmen Luke, SUNY Press, 1995.

Willis, S. “Memory in Mass Culture.” History and Memory in African American Culture, edited by Genevieve Fabre and Robert O’Meally, Oxford, 1994.

Willis, S. “A Primer for Daily Life.” Das Argument, 189 and Ways of Reading, St. Martins Press, 1991.

Willis, S. “Specifying: Black Women Writing the American Experience.” Feminisms, edited by R. R. Warhol and D. P. Herndl, Rutgers, 1991.


Willis, S. “The Whole World on a Plate.” Situations, vol. 111, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 151–64.

Willis, S. “Playing the Penny Slots.” Situations, vol. 2, no. 2, 2008.

Willis, S. “Forensics of Spinach.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 107, no. 2, 2007.

Willis, S. “What Goes Around Comes Around.” Social Text, vol. 77, 2003.

Willis, S. “Bunker Society.” New Left Review, vol. 22, 2003.

Willis, S. “Anansi history: George Elliott Clarke's Whylah Falls.” Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, Mar. 2002.

Willis, S. “Anthrax R Us.” Social Text, vol. 73, 2002.

Willis, S. “Old Glory.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 101, no. 2, 2002, pp. 375–83.

Willis, S. “Looking at the Zoo.” South Atlantic Quarterly, 2000.

Willis, S. “Deportacion: el Jucio Contra Margaret Randall.” Casa De Las Americas, vol. 212, 1998.