Susan Juster

Susan Juster
W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research
Department: Research

Susan Juster oversees the Research division that hosts more than 150 long- and short-term research fellows each year, selected through a competitive, peer-review process that provides $1.4 million in awards. These fellows join some 1,700 researchers who visit The Huntington annually to mine its massive collection of rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, art, and related materials in pursuit of their projects—producing academic monographs and scholarly articles, bestselling and prizewinning books, acclaimed documentary films, and works related to history. Juster also leads the more public-facing research activities of conferences, lectures, and related programs.

Prior to joining The Huntington, Juster served as assistant professor of history at the University of Michigan, associate dean for social sciences for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and was named the Rhys Isaac Collegiate Professor of History, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. Juster holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

In 2012, she held a short-term research fellowship at The Huntington, and in 2014, she was awarded a yearlong fellowship, which led, in part, to the publication of her 2016 book, Sacred Violence in Early America. Her forthcoming book, titled A Common Grave: The Ritual and Material Lives of Catholics in English America, will go to press in 2023. She is also the author of Doomsayers: Anglo-American Prophecy in the Age of Revolution and coeditor of Empires of God: Religious Encounters in the Early Modern Atlantic.

Juster also serves as the senior editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History.


Sacred Violence in Early America
Susan Juster (Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, 2014–15)

Sacred Violence in Early America offers a sweeping reinterpretation of the violence endemic to 17th-century English colonization by reexamining some of the key moments of cultural and religious encounters in North America. Susan Juster explores different forms of sacred violence—blood sacrifice, holy war, malediction, and iconoclasm—to uncover how European traditions of ritual violence developed during the wars of the Reformation were introduced and ultimately transformed in the New World.