Susan Matt

Presidental Distinguished Professor of History

Office: Science Lab Room 403A
Phone: 801-626-7325
Fax: 801-626-7613 

Research & Teaching Areas

  • U.S. Social and Cultural History 
  • History of Emotions
  • Gilded Age
  • Progressive Era
  • Consumerism


  • BA, with Honors, University of Chicago (1989)
  • MA, PhD, Cornell University (1992, 1996)


  • HIST 1700 American Civilization
  • HIST 3090 American Social History
  • HIST 3110 American Ideas & Culture
  • HIST 3130 U.S. Urban History
  • HIST 4050 Gilded Age & Progressive Era 1877-1919
  • HIST 4060 20th Century U.S. 1919-1945
  • HIST 4710 Emotions in U.S. History
  • HIST 4985 Research Methods
  • HIST 4990 Senior Seminar



  • Luke Fernandez and Susan J. Matt, Bored, Lonely, and Stupid: How Americans Have Felt about Technology, from the Telegraph to Twitter (under contract with Harvard University Press)
  • Susan J. Matt, Homesickness: An American History (Oxford University Press, 2011; paperback 2014)

              Related writing:

              Susan J.  Matt, "Home, Sweet Home," New York Times Disunion series, April 19, 2012

               Susan J. Matt, "The New Globalist is Homesick," New York Times op-ed, March 22, 2012

               Susan J. Matt, "Five Best Books by the Homesick," Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2012

Edited Works

  • Susan J. Matt and Peter N. Stearns, series editors, History of Emotions (University of Illinois Press)
  • Susan J. Matt, ed. A Cultural History of the Emotions: Romanticism, Revolution, and Empire (Bloomsbury: at press) 

Journal Articles

  • "The History of American Emotions," The American Historian, August 2016
  • "Recovering Emotion from Visual Culture," Opuscula (forthcoming)
  • "Current Emotion Research in History: Or, Doing History from the Inside Out," Emotion Review 3 (January 2011): 117-24
  • "You Can’t Go Home Again: Homesickness and Nostalgia in U.S. History," Journal of American History, 94 (2007): 469-497
  • "A Hunger for Home: Homesickness and Food in a Global Consumer Society," Journal of American Culture, 30 (2007): 6-17
  • "Children’s Envy and the Emergence of the Modern Consumer Ethic, 1890-1930," Journal of Social History, 36 ( 2002): 283-302

Book Chapters & Essays

  • "What Were the Emotions? Concepts and Definitions, 1780-1920," in Susan J. Matt,  ed. A Cultural History of the Emotions: Romanticism, Revolution, and Empire (Bloomsbury: at press) 
  • "From Sin to Economic Stimulant: Envy's Changing Place in American Capitalism," in Christoph Conrad and Anne Schmidt, Affects, Bodies, and Market Society (Mohr Siebeck, 2015)
  • Susan Matt and Luke Fernandez, "Home Invasion: From the Telegraph to the Internet of Things," in Home: Concepts, Constructions and Contexts, eds. Kathy-Ann Tan and Cecile Sandten, (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, WVT, 2015)
  • "Recovering the Invisible: Methods for the Historical Study of the Emotions," in Matt and Stearns, eds., Doing Emotions History (University of Illinois Press: 2013) 
  • “Emotions in the Marketplace,” in A Destiny of Choice? New Directions in American Consumer History, eds. David Steigerwald and David Blanke (Rowman and Littlefield: 2013)
  • "Why the Old Fashioned is in Fashion in American Houses," in Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)
  • "Homesickness and Homemaking in America,” in American Behavioral History (New York: New York University Press, 2005).
  • "Feelings, Frocks, and Finery: Rural and Urban Women's Envy, 1890-1930,” in The Emotional History of the United States (New York: New York University Press, 1998).     

Online Publications


  • The History of the Emotions, by Jan Plamper, The Historian, Fall 2017
  • Get Out of My Room: A History of Teen Bedrooms in America by Jason Reid, Journal of Social History, August 2017
  • Emotional and Sectional Conflict in the Antebellum United States, by Michael Woods, Journal of American History (September 2015)
  • Consuming Pleasures: Intellectuals and Popular Culture in the Post-War World,  by Daniel Horowitz, American Historical Review (December 2014)
  • The Americanization of Narcissism, by Elizabeth Lunbeck, Journal of Social History (Fall 2015)
  • The English in Love, by Claire Langhamer, Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Autumn 2014)
  • Friendship: A History, ed. Barbara Caine, Journal of Social History (Spring 2012)
  • The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950, by Avner Offer, Journal of Social History (Fall 2009)
  • Consumers’ Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity, 1865-1920 by Kristin L. Hoganson, Journal of Social History (Winter 2009)
  • Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890-1945 by Charles McGovern, Enterprise and Society (2007)
  • Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the Idea of the Consumer by Kathleen G. Donohue, American Historical Review (June 2007) 
  • Born Losers: A History of Failure in America by Scott A. Sandage, American Historical Review (October 2006)
  • Raising Consumers: Children and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century by Lisa Jacobson, Journal of Social History (Summer 2006)
  • Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America by Walter A. Friedman, American Historical Review (February 2005)
  • The Cute and the Cool: Wondrous Innocence and Modern American Children's Culture by Gary Cross and Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls' Culture, 1920-1945 by Kelly Schrum, Journal of American History (June 2005)
  • Talk of Love: Why Culture Matters by Ann Swidler, Journal of Social History (Fall 2004) 
  • Refined Tastes: Sugar, Confectionery, and Consumers in Nineteenth-Century America by Wendy A. Woloson, Journal of Social History (Summer 2004)
  • Sowing the American Dream: How Consumer Culture Took Root in the Rural Midwest by David Blanke, in Journal of Social History (Fall 2002)
  • 1898: The Birth of the American Century by David Traxel, in New York History (Winter 2001)

Manuscript Referee

  • Journal of American History
  • Journal of Social History
  • Emotion Review
  • Business History Review
  • Journal of Women's History
  • Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • Journal of American Culture
  • Civil War History 
  • Journal of Medical Humanities
  • William and Mary Quarterly

Awards & Affiliations

  • Visiting Faculty, History Department, University of Tubingen, Summer 2013, 2017
  • Fritz Thyssen Foundation/Organization of American Historians, German Residency Fellowship, 2013
  • Chair, Department of History 2008-2017
  • Presidential Distinguished Professor of History, awarded 2009
  • Visiting Fellow, Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection, 2007
  • Endowed professor, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2005-2008
  • Research Travel Award, John Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History, Duke University Library, 2000
  • Jeanne Humphrey Block Dissertation Award, The Henry Murray Center, Radcliffe College,1993
  • Cornell University Women's Studies/President's Council of Cornell Women Summer Research Grant, 1993
  • Mellon Fellowship, 1994-95, 1992
  • University of Chicago College Honor Scholarship, 1985-1989
  • University of Chicago Student Body President, 1988-1989