“HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW?”: SUSAN Elizabeth GAGLIARDI ON FIELDWORK AND EVIDENCE
“How do we know what we know? What do we build our knowledge on and how can we question that?”
In this episode
Alice Matthews, a recent graduate of the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art and former podcast intern for the Research and Academic Program, speaks with Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, professor of the historical and present-day arts of Africa at Emory University. They discuss the trajectory that ultimately brought Susan to her field, including undergraduate internships with the Baltimore Museum of Art. Susan reflects on her research methodology and the process of establishing relationships and conducting interviews in Burkina Faso. She discusses her current, born-digital project, Mapping Senufo, and reflects on the significance of the digital humanities to art history. Susan also shares her thoughts on the importance of collaboration among scholars as well as with other professionals, and the need to challenge what we think we know.
Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi is an associate professor in the department of art history at Emory University, with a focus on arts identified as Senufo, Bamana, and Mande. Her research is invested in theories of archives and of knowledge production, maps and mapping, museums and display methods, patronage, and practices and theories of power and assemblage. Her book Senufo Unbound: Dynamics of Art and Identity in West Africa informed the 2015 exhibition Senufo: Art and Identity in West Africa, curated by Constantine Petridis at the Cleveland Museum of Art, for which she served as a curatorial advisor. Susan has also authored numerous articles and essays and is currently working on the collaborative, born-digital publication, Mapping Senufo: Art, Evidence, and the Production of Knowledge. She was a fellow at the Clark in fall 2019.
This conversation was recorded on February 12, 2021.