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, S. "I Shop Therefore I Am." Changing Our Own Words. Ed. CA Wall. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988. (Essay)

Willis, S. "Black Women Writers: Taking a Critical Perspective." Feminist Theory and Criticism. Ed. G Greene and C Kahn. London and New York: Metheun, 1985. (Essay)

Willis, S. "Crushed Geraniums: Juan Francisco Manzano and the Language of Slavery." The Slave’s Narrative: Texts and Contexts. Ed. CT Davis and HL Gates. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. (Essay)

Willis, S. "Eruptions of Funk: Historicizing Toni Morrison." Black Literature and Literary Theory. Ed. H Gates. London & New York: Methuen, 1984. (Chapter)

Willis, S. "The Aesthetics of the Rural Slum: Contradictions and Dependency in ‘The Bear'." Faulkner: New Perspectives. Ed. RH Brodhead. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1983. (Chapter)


Willis, S. "Hardcore: Subculture American Style." Critical Inquiry 19.2 (January 1993): 365-365. Full Text

Willis, S. "Disney World: Public Use/Private Space." South Atlantic Quarterly 92.1 (1993): 119-137.

Willis, S. "Earthquake Kits: The Politics of the Trivial." South Atlantic Quarterly 89.4 (1990): 761-785.

Willis, S. "Work(ing) Out." Cultural Studies (1989).

Willis, S. "Learning from the Banana." American Quarterly 39.4 (1987).

Willis, S. "Fantasia: Walt Disney’s Los Angeles Suite." Diacritics (1987).

Willis, S. "Gender as Commodity." South Atlantic Quarterly 86.4 (1987): 403-421.

Willis, S. "Alice Walker’s Women." New Orleans Review (1984).

Willis, S. "Nobody’s Mulata." Ideologies and Literature 4.17 (1984).

Willis, S. "Caliban as Poet: Reversing the Maps of Dependency." Massachusetts Review 23.4 (1982).