Laura Thursby is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies and a sessional lecturer at Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Her doctoral dissertation considers the way that the figure of the alien takes on a simultaneously real and not-real status in contemporary American society. While there is no concrete proof of their objective existence in the classical epistemological sense of the term, she finds that aliens are real in the sense that they are all around us, exerting a force on the world, and so she traces how ideas about extraterrestrials both shape, and are shaped by, shifting social, cultural, and political landscapes in the US. As disturbers of binary categories, she finds that aliens blur the boundaries between the real and the fake and make it difficult to distinguish between reality and fiction. More broadly, her research interests include UFOs, ufology, extraterrestrials, space, the otherworldly, the supernatural, conspiracy theories, storytelling as world making, and affect theory.