Dr. Susannah Thompson MA (Hons), MPhil, PhD

Job Title:

Head of Doctoral Studies





Gallery text by Susannah Thompson for the solo exhibition (After) After by
Laurence Figgis, Leeds College of Art, 2017

Gallery text by Susannah Thompson for the solo exhibition (After) After by


Dr. Susannah Thompson

Dr. Susannah Thompson is an art historian, writer and critic. 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 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 was co-convenor of ECA’s Athena SWAN project in 2016-17, for which ECA was awarded a Bronze Award. 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).

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. 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. Her course, Art Writing, was a core component of the MA Contemporary Art Theory programme and ran between 2010-2017 and was the first of its kind in Scotland. As well as her role as Head of Doctoral Studies she is a primary and co-supervisor for a number of PhD students and has supervised nine PhD students, with three completions to date.

Alongside 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, Even, 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, Leeds College 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.

Forthcoming publications in 2017/18:

Susannah has co-edited 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 Thomson (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:

Current PhD Students:

Sarah Forrest: ‘What is Seen, What is Said to be Seen: Exploring doubt as a critical tool within artists’ moving image practice’, funded by AHRC's Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership. Co-supervised by Dr Sarah Neely, University of Stirling and Torsten Lauschmann, Edinburgh College of Art.
For more info:

Katharina Ludwig (joint supervision with Edinburgh College of Art): ‘Text in Time: Writing as a time-based medium’, funded by Cusanwerk, Germany. Co-supervision with Dr Rebecca Collins and Maria Fusco, Edinburgh College of Art.
For more info:

Alberta Whittle (joint supervision with Edinburgh College of Art): ‘Articulating Creolised Scottish Identities: The Performance of Picture-Taking in Virtual and Physical Archives’. Co-supervision with Dr Glyn Davis, Edinburgh College of Art and Graham Fagen, School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone, University of Dundee. Funded by ECA PhD Scholarship. For more info:

Jennifer Thatcher (joint supervision with Edinburgh College of Art) ‘Close Encounters: The Development of the Artist Interview in Postwar Print and Broadcasting’, funded by AHRC's Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership. Co-supervision with Prof Neil Mulholland, Edinburgh College of Art and Lauren Dyer Amazeen, critic.