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Susannah Thompson

Head of Doctoral Studies at Glasgow School of Art. Writer and critic.

Susannah is an art historian, writer and critic. She 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.

She has worked as a freelance critic and art writer since 2000 and is a regular contributor to leading international art publications including Art Review, Flash Art, Contemporary, Modern Painters, Circa, Variant, A-N and MAP. Susannah 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, Leeds College of Art, Linn Lühn (Cologne), Collective (Edinburgh) and YYZ (Toronto).

Her research has been widely published in academic journals including Visual Studies, Journal for Writing in Creative Practice, Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History and Visual Culture in Britain. Susannah's doctoral thesis 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. Her course, Art Writing, was a core component of the MA Contemporary Art Theory programme at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. It ran from 2010-2017 and was the first of its kind in Scotland. She will contribute to the forthcoming MLitt in Art Writing which will launch in 2018 at The Glasgow School of Art and supervises PhD students in areas related to her research.

Before taking up her position as Head of Doctoral Studies at The Glasgow School of Art in 2017 Susannah worked at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), University of Edinburgh, as Director for Postgraduate Research (2014-17), Co-Director of Visual Culture (2011-14) and Lecturer in Visual Culture (2006-2017) in the School of Art. She has also worked as a Lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies at The Glasgow School of Art (2003-2007) and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde (Architectural History and Theory) and the University of Glasgow (History of Art).

Forthcoming publications in 2017/18:
Susannah is currently co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, published by Intellect, with Laura Edbrook (GSA) focusing on recent developments in Art Writing. The edited collection reflects upon and examines an expansive moment in the development of alternative forms of critical, theoretical and creative writing and in the reconfiguring of the relationship between writing and creative practice. Contributors include: Laura Edbrook; Laurence Figgis (GSA); Dr. Katrina Palmer (Central Saint Martins); Dr. Elizabeth Reeder (University of Glasgow); Lindsay Seers (Goldsmiths) Dr Joanne Tatham (Royal College of Art); Dr. Amanda Thompson (GSA); Dr. Susannah Thompson (GSA); Gillian Wylde (Falmouth University).

Susannah has contributed a chapter to the forthcoming Routledge book The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice edited by Emily Orley and Katja Hilevaara. Built around a diverse selection of writings from leading researcher-practitioners and emerging artists, the book celebrates the extraordinary range of possibilities available when writing about one’s own work. It re-thinks the conventions of scholarly output to propose that critical writing be understood as an integral part of the artistic process, and even as artwork in its own right. Susannah’s chapter reconsiders the art manifesto.

You can read Susannah’s art criticism at:



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