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About Susan L. Trollinger

Susan Trollinger recently published Righting America at the Creation Museumwith William Vance Trollinger (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016). She is a professor of English at the University of Dayton, where, in addition to teaching a yearlong course that brings together history, religious studies, philosophy, and English in the study the history of the West in global culture, she also teaches courses on writing, rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric, and the Amish.

Dr. Trollinger’s expertise on the Amish grows out of 15 years of researching and writing her first book, Selling the Amish: The Tourism of Nostalgia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012). That book takes a close look at what Amish country tourism (especially in eastern Ohio) offers its visitors in the form of outdoor environments, interior décor, and merchandise, among other things. Dr. Trollinger notices that tourism environments often appear to be at odds with the simplicity of Amish life. Through a close reading of three central tourist towns in the largest Amish settlement in the world, Dr. Trollinger shows the unexpected connections among Amish tourism, Amish life, and the ways Amish life raises important questions for Amish Country visitors.

In Righting America at the Creation Museum, she offers a close reading of the Creation Museum (Petersburg, Kentucky). This 75,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to the argument that a faithful reading of the book of Genesis obliges true Christians to hold to the notion that the universe was created in six 24-hour days 6,000 years ago. In the course of the book, the authors look carefully at the museum as a museum, the scientific arguments that it makes, how it mobilizes the Bible, the politics of the museum and its parent organization, and how all of this constructs the “proper” Christian in light of questions of divine judgment.

She and William Vance Trollinger Jr. are working on an article about the growing enthusiasm that many Old Order Amish have for the Creation Museum and its particular brand of Protestant fundamentalism. That article documents the growing enthusiasm among Old Order Amish for young-earth creationism and the potential threat that their embrace of those ideas may pose to Amish faith and life.


2007 - Present Professor, University of Dayton Department of English

Curriculum Vitae

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1995 PhD, University of Pittsburgh
1989 MA, University of Pittsburgh
1986 BA, University of Wisconsin

Amish (2)

Anabaptism (5)

Classical Rhetoric (1)

Creationism (3)

Religious Rhetoric (2)

Rhetoric (6)

Visual Rhetoric (3)

Books (3)