Dr. Susannah Thompson is an art historian, writer and critic. She is Director for Postgraduate Research and a Lecturer in Visual Culture in the School of Art. Susannah holds a PhD in History of Art from the University of Glasgow, an MPhil in Art and Design in Organisational Contexts from The Glasgow School of Art and an MA (Hons) in History of Art from the University of Glasgow. Before taking up her position at ECA in 2006, Susannah was a Lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies at The Glasgow School of Art (2003-2006) and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde (Architectural History and Theory) and the University of Glasgow (History of Art).
Susannah teaches Visual Culture across all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Art and her course, Art Writing, is a core component of the MA Contemporary Art Theory programme. She is a Principal supervisor for MPhil and PhD students and leads the PhD and MPhil in Art. From 2011 - 2014 she was Co-Director of Visual Culture and was co-convenor of ECA’s Athena SWAN project in 2016-17.
Susannah’s research has been widely published in journals including Visual Studies, Journal for Writing in Creative Practice, Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History and Visual Culture in Britain. In 2017 she will act as co-Guest Editor for the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice for a special issue on approaches to contemporary art writing. Her doctoral research examined artists’ writings in Scotland published between 1960-1990, focusing on alternative and experimental modes of writing and post-criticism, writing as a part of visual art practice and the role of samizdat and ephemeral publications within contemporary art in Scotland.
As well as academic research, Susannah has also worked as a freelance critic, art writer and curator since 2000. She has extensive curatorial and programming experience and as a writer and critic she has contributed to magazines and journals including Art Review, Flash Art, Contemporary, Modern Painters, Circa, Variant, A-N and MAP. She has written numerous catalogue essays and gallery texts for artists and organisations including Tramway, CCA, Transmission, Sorcha Dallas, Washington Garcia, Mary Mary, Street Level Photoworks, The Glasgow School of Art, Linn Lühn (Cologne), Collective (Edinburgh) and YYZ (Toronto). She is a member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics).
Her research interests are in the broad area of visual culture, with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary and feminist approaches to: Art Writing; Criticism/Post-Criticism; Art Historical writing; Fiction / Literature and/in/as Art; Contemporary Art Theory; Contemporary Art; Feminism; Identity Politics.Susannah is keen to supervise in the areas associated with her research. She is a member of the Futurity/Society/Action research cluster within the School of Art.
Current PhD supervisees (as Lead/Principal Supervisor):
- Katharina Ludwig: ‘Text in Time: Writing as a time-based medium’, funded by Cusanwerk, Germany.
- Alberta Whittle: Articulating Creolised Scottish Identities: The Performance of Picture-Taking in Virtual and Physical Archives’ (co-supervision with Graham Fagen, School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone, University of Dundee) funded by ECA PhD Scholarship.
- Daniela Lara Espinoza: ‘ Beads, Hand Embroidery and Violence against Women’ (co-supervision with Dr. Juliette MacDonald and Lindy Richardson, School of Design, ECA), funded by the Advanced Human Capital Program of the [Chilean] National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research: CONICYT).
Current PhD supervisees (as Co-Supervisor):
- Ronald Binnie: ‘The Body in the Gallery: The Use of the Non-human Animal in Contemporary Art’ (co-supervision with Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh).
PhD Completions (as Co-Supervisor):
- Sarah Tripp: ‘Making People Up’ funded by ECA Scholarship
- Andrew Sneddon: ‘Confusions of Meaning in the Concept of Place’.