Susan Best

Professor Susan Best

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2017
  • Section(s): Arts


Susan Best is a leading feminist art historian, known internationally for theorising the affective dimension of late modern and contemporary art as well as for re-examining the relevance of aesthetics in feminist thinking about art. Her research has been widely acclaimed as constituting a major methodological innovation in art history, demonstrating how the work of key women artists of the 1960s and 1970s transformed the avant-garde protocols of the period by introducing an affective dimension to the vocabulary of late modern art. The recipient of several distinguished grants and awards, including Australian Research Council and Australia Council grants, Professor Best’s current work focuses on impersonality in body art and performance. Her first book Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-garde won the Australian and New Zealand Art Association prize for best book in 2012; it was also short-listed for the American College Art Association Frank Jewett Mather Award. Her most recent work further develops the analysis of affect in art, focusing on the importance of shame and the role of photography in addressing shameful national histories. She is currently Professor of Art Theory and Fine Art at Griffith University.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.