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Susan J. Rasmussen

Susan J. Rasmussen

Ph.D., Indiana University

Old Science Building, Suite 230


Professor Susan Rasmussen has conducted extensive field research in rural and urban Tuareg communities of northern Niger and Mali and among African immigrants in France. Her interests include religion, medico-ritual healing systems and specialists, gender and intergenerational relationships in aging and the life course, verbal art performance, cultural memory, and more broadly, relationships between symbolism and power and between anthropology and human rights/social justice. She has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes and six authored books. Current projects include analysis of data from her most recent fieldwork projects on Tuareg youth culture in and around Agadez, Niger and on diasporic Kabyle and other African converts in France.

Research Interests

  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Aging and the life cycle
  • Medico-rituals and healing specialists
  • Verbal art performance
  • Memory
  • Human rights
  • Africa (Sahara; Sahel; West Africa; North Africa)


Africanist Award for Research Excellence, University of Texas, Austin, March, 2008


  • American Anthropological Association
  • American Ethnological Society
  • The Semiotic Society of America
  • African Studies Association
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Houston Museum of Fine Arts
  • Amnesty International

Selected Publications

Rasmussen, Susan. Spirit Possession and Personhood among the Kel Ewey Tuareg. N.p.: Cambridge; University Press, 1995.

Rasmussen, Susan. The Poetics and Politics of Tuareg Aging. Northern Illinois University Press, 1997.

Rasmussen, Susan. Healing in Community. N.p.: Bergin & Garvey Press, 2001.

Rasmussen, Susan. Those Who Touch: Tuareg Medicine Women in Anthropological Perspective. Northern Illinois University Press, 2006.

Rasmussen, Susan. (2009). Critically Re-Thinking 'Islamic Dress', The American Journal of Semiotics, vol 25. 1-2 ,pp.1-23.

Rasmussen, Susan. Do Tents and Herds Still Matter, Pastoral Nomadism and Gender, eds., Carolyn Sargent and Caroline Brettel, Prentice Hall Press, pp. 162-174.

Rasmussen, Susan. (2008). The People of Solitude, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 14, pp. 609-627.

Curriculum Vitae