Bard Events Calendar

Experimental Humanities Program, Anthropology Program, and American Studies Program Present

Monday, November 27, 2017
Stories of Abduction and Tales of Breaking Free: From ADHD Monsters to Space Aliens in the Contemporary U.S.
Olin, Room 102
6:00 pm
Susan Lepselter
Associate Professor of Anthropology &
Associate Adjunct Professor of American Studies,
Indiana University
Americans know their dominant national story centers on ideals of freedom, social mobility, and progress. But those ideals are constantly shadowed by the counter-figures of captivity and immobility. This talk is going to muse on different ways we talk about hard-to-articulate feelings of captivity and containment, from the inner subjective states of neurodivergence, to stories of uncanny captivity in UFO abduction. I will think about how idiosyncratic individual experiences and public narratives of captivity resonate with each other. How do these narratives move from the margins to the center of political discourse – and to what effect? This talk will touch on neurodiversity forums on tumblr, the medicalized idea of the monster, and UFO abduction stories. In the second half of the talk, I will invite members of the audience to tell their own stories of captivity, in both uncanny or ordinary registers.  Come with a story to tell!​

For more information, call 845-758-7215, or e-mail

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 102