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About the Author | From the Author | Other Books by Susan Krieger | Selected Articles | Professional Background | Course Syllabus

About the Author

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Susan Krieger, a sociologist and writer, teaches in the Program in Feminist Studies at Stanford University. Her previous books are The Family Silver: Essays on Relationships among Women; Social Science and the Self: Personal Essays on an Art Form; The Mirror Dance: Identity in a Women's Community; and Hip Capitalism.

From the Author

I live in San Francisco, California with my partner of 25 years, Estelle Freedman, who teaches in the Department of History at Stanford University. We share our home with a small black poodle, three cats, and my guide dog, a labrador-golden retriever cross, trained at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. I am legally blind and have had a progressive eye condition (birdshot retinochoroidopathy) since 1996. To read and write, I use a talking computer with JAWS as my screen reader (for voice), ZoomText (for enlargement and color inversion), OpenBook (for scanning and reading), a legal sized flatbed scanner, a CCTV (closed-circuit television for magnification), a professional fast laser printer for large font printing, and lighted strong hand-held magnifiers. For mobility, I rely on my guide dog, and occasionally on my white cane. I have found that as I have lost vision, I am most comforted when I go into action and get the aids and assistance that I need. I am always learning new ways of doing things to adjust to my changing eyesight.

Things No Longer There is an especially important book for me because it speaks of my loss of sight in a public way, when so often it is a secret, and because the book is articulate about lesbianism. I have found it far easier to speak in public about my loss of eyesight than to speak about my intimate emotional life, my lesbian relationships. In writing, I can address both as a natural part of my living. Things No Longer There is a book in which I value the various aspects of my life, past and present. Having these stories appear both in print and in audio form is a great joy to me. I began writing this book when I had normal vision; during the years of writing and revising (1994-2003), my vision changed, making me appreciate in a very literal way that we all see differently. I sometimes wonder now what "normal vision" is.

My hope is that Things No Longer There will counteract some of the fears and prejudices about blindness and that it will be of help to those who are losing their vision. I also hope it will contribute to a greater sense of honesty about lesbianism.

My next book, titled Traveling Blind, will explore issues of mobility with limited sight, including stories about navigating with a guide dog. I take the reader with me on an unfolding adventure, a "travel story" with a twist.

Other Books by Susan Krieger

The Family Silver book coverThe Family Silver: Essays on Relationships among Women (University of California Press, 1996)

In this inventive collection, Krieger considers the many forms of wealth, both material and emotional, that women pass on to each other. This domestic heritage--the "family silver"--is the keystone for a discussion of mother-daughter relationships, intimate relationships between lesbians, ties between students and feminist teachers, the dilemmas of women in academia as well as in the broader work world. Krieger argues for acknowledging gender in all areas of women's lives and for valuing women's inner realities. Her style is self-revelatory, emotional, and at the same time deeply analytical. She pioneers a new method of honoring female values.

Social Science and the Self book coverSocial Science and the Self: Personal Essays on an Art Form (Rutgers University Press, 1991)

"An absorbing and provocative exploration of questions central to contemporary feminist scholarship--how we find individual voices as researchers and what places we construct for ourselves in our texts. Krieger's book weaves feeling and careful analysis; her clarity and courage make for strikingly original insights into the personal foundations of social research." --Marjorie L. DeVault, Syracuse University

The Mirror Dance book coverThe Mirror Dance: Identity in a Women's Community (Temple University Press, 1983)

A unique book about a lesbian community-an experiment, both in women's language and in social science method. The Mirror Dance is composed of an interplay of voices that echo, again and again, themes of self and community, sameness and difference, merger and separation, loss and change. The author lived for a year with the community and then spent two intensive months interviewing 78 women who were either members of the community or importantly associated with it. The Mirror Dance has become a lesbian classic.

Hip Capitalism book coverHip Capitalism (Sage, 1979)

The incredible story of a rock music radio station in San Francisco--from its underground origins in early 1967, through its days of "flower power on the air," feathers, beads, and dope, to a celebrated hippie strike--and its eventual transformation to commercial success. No one who recalls the late 1960s will read this book without nostalgia.

To order these titles, please visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Powell's Books .

Selected Articles

2005 "The Mirror Dance Revisited," Journal of Lesbian Studies 9:1/2: 1-9 (2005)

2005 "Losing My Vision," Qualitative Inquiry 11:2 (2005): 145-151

2001 "Things No Longer There: Half Moon Bay," Qualitative Inquiry 7:6 (2001): 801-807

1998 "An Identity Community," in Peter M. Nardi and Beth E. Schneider, eds., Social Perspectives in Lesbian and Gay Studies (N.Y.: Routledge: 1998): 215-219

1997 "Lesbian in Academe," in Barbara Laslett and Barrie Thorne, eds., Feminist Sociology: Life Histories of a Movement (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press: 1997): 194-208

1985 "Beyond 'Subjectivity': The Use of the Self in Social Science, Qualitative Sociology 8:4 (1985): 309-324

1984 "Fiction and Social Science," Studies in Symbolic Interaction, vol. 5 (1984): 269-286

1982 "Lesbian Identity and Community: Recent Social Science Literature," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 8:1 (1982): 91-108

1979 "The KMPX Strike," Studies in Symbolic Interaction, vol. 2 (1979): 331-355

1979 "Change," Conditions: Four 2:1 (1979): 55-61

1979 "Ambivalence," Sinister Wisdom, no.8 (1979): 33-37

1977 "A Trip to the Anza-Borrego Desert," Conditions: One 1:1 (1977): 82-89

Professional Background

Academic appointments

2003-present, Humanities and Sciences Fellow, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University

1987-present, Lecturer, Program in Feminist Studies, Stanford University

1976-88, Teaching appointments at: the University of California at Berkeley, University of New Mexico, University of Illinois, San Francisco State University, California State University Hayward, Mills College


1980-82, Post-doctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Department of Sociology, Program in Organizations and Mental Health

1976 Ph.D., Stanford University, Department of Communication; thesis in organizational sociology

1969 M.C.P., University of California at Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning; HUD Urban Studies Fellow

1967 B.A., University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude with honors in sociology; Phi Beta Kappa

Selected professional activities

Public speaking (2005-07): University guest lectures (University of California at Berkeley, Townsend Disability Studies Memoir Reading Series; Stanford University Medical School, McGann Women & Health Series); blind service organization presentations (Silicon Valley Commission for the Blind, Santa Clara Valley Blind Center); radio program interviews (To the Best of Our Knowledge, Forum, TechNation); conference presentations (National Women’s Studies Association, Association of Women in Psychology)

Member: American Sociological Association; Society for the Study of Social Problems; Society for Disability Studies

Editorial board member: Journal of Lesbian Studies (1996-2000); Sociological Quarterly (1993-96); Women and Therapy (1983-86)

Manuscript reviewer: Signs, Feminist Studies, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Women and Therapy, Contemporary Ethnography, Qualitative Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, University presses

Areas of teaching and research expertise

Feminist and ethnographic research methods, sociology of gender, women and disabilities, lesbian identities and communities, women and organizations, organizational sociology, sociology of communication, symbolic interaction, feminist writing

Course Syllabus

Women and Disabilities

View a Syllabus for the author's "Seminar in Women's Health: Women and Disabilities" (Stanford University 2007) for a reading list with works relevant to themes in Things No Longer There.