Dr Elizabeth A. Hodson PhD, MSc, BA (Hons)

Job Title:

Lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies


Fine Art Critical Studies Profiles



Dr Elizabeth A. Hodson
Exhibition poster for 'Drawing the Anthropological Imagination' (2016, Uni. of Durham)

Dr Elizabeth A. Hodson


Dr Elizabeth A. Hodson

Elizabeth is a Lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies within GSA. Her research and teaching is concerned with the interstices between art, anthropology and art history. Trained as a social anthropologist with a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, she has conducted ethnographic research on art in Iceland and Scotland, exploring a range of topics including drawing, interdisciplinarity, alterity, the imagination and materiality.

Before taking up her current position at GSA she worked at Newcastle University as a Teaching Fellow in Art History, and prior to this was a Research Fellow on a five year ERC-funded project at the University of Aberdeen called 'Knowing from the Inside: Anthropology, Art, Architecture and Design' (KFI, 2013-2018), led by Professor Tim Ingold. Based in anthropology the project was designed to speculate on and reconfigure the relationship between theoretical exposition in the academic human sciences with the often-neglected sensory, embodied nature of our relationship to the dwelt-in world. KFI proposed that knowledge and understanding is best gleaned through working with people and things rather than the study of them. The project also sought to attend to alternative forms of description and representation in academia beyond text and explored how anthropology, in particular, could be performed, drawn and sang. In 2017 a KFI group exhibition, entitled ‘Things are Never Finished’ presented work produced during the project for which Elizabeth exhibited a suite of drawings. The works on paper were part of a long-term project exploring the role of abstract drawing within ethnographic research.

Elizabeth’s most recent publication from the KFI project is an edited volume Imaginations – Interiors – Surfaces (University of Aberdeen, 2017), which showcases the work of artists and anthropologists, she has collaborated with over the last ten years. The volume provides an experimental reflection on the topics of the imagination, interiors and surfaces, highlighting the role of the body in particular in our engagement with the material world. In placing artworks next to research documentation and data from the field the volume seeks to break down the barriers that are placed between disciplines, and in particular between word and image.

Elizabeth has also published with the Journal of Material Culture, Journal of Visual Art Practice and ART/E/FACT, amongst others, and written on the art practice of such artists as Margrét H. Blöndal, Haraldur Jónsson, and Steingrímur Eyfjörð. Alongside her written work she has also curated a number of interdisciplinarity exhibitions both here in the UK and abroad including: ‘Jaðarsýn’ (2010), at Kling og Bang Art Gallerí, Iceland; ‘Beyond Perception’ (2015), University of Aberdeen; ‘Drawing the Anthropological Imagination’ (2016), University of Durham.

Elizabeth’s most recent research project, which is funded by the Association For Art History, is concerned with art in rural communities in Scotland. Entitled ‘Imagining Landscape and Myth in Scottish Art’ it addresses how artists work in rural landscapes to articulate local myths and folk narratives, with particular reference to coastlines, land boundaries and waterways.