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Susan Sessions Rugh specializes in the history of travel and tourism and in the history of rural America. She earned a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago in 1993, and has taught at BYU since 1997. She teaches courses in America cultural history and Women’s Studies. Her current research is about family-owned motels and immigrant entrepreneurs from Gujurat, India.


Selected Publications

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Family Vacation.
Gibbs-Smith Publishers, 2009.

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Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations. Univ. Press of Kansas, 2008.

Our Common Country: Family Farming, Culture, and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Midwest. Indiana Univ. Press, 2001. Hyperlink.


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"Selling Sleep: The Rise and Fall of Utah’s Historic Motels," in Brian Q. Cannon and Jessie Embry, eds., Utah in the Twentieth Century (Utah State University Press, 2009), 65-87.
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"Branding Utah: Industrial Tourism in the Postwar America West," Western Historical Quarterly (Winter 2006) Winner of the Michael Malone Award from the Western Historical Association and a Best Article Award from the Utah Historical Society.

 General Information


     Field: Tourism and Cultural History

     Contact Info:
2130 JFSB
(801) 422-2742
Fax: (801) 422-027

Consultation Hours:

By Appointment

Classes Taught:

  • History 200 The Historian's Craft
  • History 369 Travel and Tourism in America
  • History 490 American Cultural History
  • WS 222 Introduction to Women's Studies

Current Classes:

  • History 490. Capstone Research Seminar