Job title: Reader

Role: Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, School of Art | Convenor, Friday Talks public research series (2016-17)

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5914


Research outputs: Maria Fusco on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Maria Fusco is a writer, working across the registers of the fictive, critical and theoretical writing. These varied registers are mutual in nature, informing each other to build an expansive approach to what writing ‘might be’ within contemporary art. Her work is translated into ten languages.

Maria's latest book Legend of the Necessary Dreamer (London: Vanguard Editions, 2017) is hailed by Chris Kraus as "a new classic of female philosophical fiction". Her work was selected from over one thousand proposals for 'Open' from Artangel and BBC Radio 4. Master Rock is a repertoire for a mountain, taking place inside Ben Cruachan, the highest peak on the west coast of Scotland. It comprises of three interconnected works - a book, site-specific performances and BBC Radio 4 broadcasts (October 2015) and was listened to by an audience of more than two million people.

Maria is a Research Fellow at Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam (2018) and at Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, Canada (2017). She is an Hawthornden Fellow, and was Writer-in-Residence at Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2014); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010), the Critic-in-Residence at Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2008-9). She has been awarded as a Jerwood Creative Catalyst, and received substantial funding from national and international agencies.

Previously Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, Maria founded and led MFA Art Writing, the first programme of its kind internationally. She is regularly invited as guest lecturer, most recently at: Forfatterskolen Danish Academy of Creative Writing (Copenhagen), Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Rijksakademie (Amsterdam), Royal College of Art (London) Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam), and University of Manchester. Maria is Editorial Director of The Happy Hypocrite, a bi-annual journal for experimental art writing.

Maria serves on the AHRC Peer Review panel, is the member of a number of international academic and non-profit editorial boards and a trustee for Collective Gallery (Edinburgh) and LUX (London), and has acted as a consultant for a range of national and international organisations and initiatives, most recently 'Projekt Art Writing' a Nordic fora of interdisciplinary artists, critics, and theorists based in the Aarhus Centre for Literature.

Maria's practice-led research is interdisciplinary in nature. She publishes in books, catalogues and journals; performs in international venues and is a contributor to BBC Radios 3 and 4.

Her current research focus examines the uses of vernacular language within national and international contemporary art; linking dialect, criticality, performativity and audience through three interrelated strands:

  1. Dialect and ‘non-standard English’ in international writing
  2. Creative writing as a critical tool in contemporary art
  3. Interdisciplinary writing methodologies

The aim is to discuss and to embody local vernacular as a legitimate form of international critical language, exploring the occurrences and potentially diverse uses of dialect words, syntax and language within the field of contemporary art production and crucially, to question traditional orthodoxies of creative and critical writing practices within contemporary art.

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications.

  • Artists' novels
  • Artists' publishing (including independent and self publishing)
  • Art writing
  • Creative criticism
  • Dialect as a form of critical writing
  • Editing as practice
  • Experimental and fiction writing
  • Performative and dramaturgical writing

Maria is an active member of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, and supervises students across a number of Scottish and international institutions.