Cass Sever

  • Visiting Instructor in Sociology

Cass Sever is interested in the sociology of the self, and the ways people embody the metaphysical commitments of their cultures. She is particularly compelled by individual crises of the self that become patterned across culture, and in her current work, she tries to explain where cultural despair—from suicide epidemics to nostalgia for totalitarian regimes to psychic harm—comes from. She is inspired by the ways we as humans believe in things, and considers belief a defining, and too often overlooked, feature of being human.

Cass works at the intersection of cultural sociology and social theory, and maintains a strong interest in ethnography, or engaging with people in the real world through in-depth interviews and observation. Her prior fieldwork investigated sex work and sexual offenses in communities of poverty.

She teaches Introduction to Sociology alongside courses in crime and deviance, social problems, ethnographic methods, data literacy and public sociology (or journalistic writing).

She is Managing Editor of the American Journal of Cultural Sociology.


  • A.B.D., State University of New York
  • M.A., Relay Graduate School of Education
  • B.S., Winthrop University