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Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi

Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi is associate professor of art history at Emory University. Her scholarship draws on extensive fieldwork in West Africa, with a focus on Burkina Faso, as well as archival research and object-focused study in Africa, Europe, and North America. In her first book, Senufo Unbound: Dynamics of Art and Identity in West Africa (Cleveland Museum of Art and 5 Continents Editions, 2014), which appeared in conjunction with a major traveling exhibition, Gagliardi investigates the term Senufo and its application to the arts. In her second book, Seeing the Unseen: Arts of Power Associations on the Senufo-Mande Cultural “Frontier, (Indiana University Press, 2022) she considers the role of potent knowledge in the making and staging of objects and performances in western West Africa for over a century. Her other publications include “Beyond the Surface: Where Cultural Contexts and Scientific Analyses Meet in Museum Conservation of West African Power Association Helmet Masks,” a Museum Anthropology article co-authored with conservators Robin O’Hern and Ellen Pearlstein, and “Mapping Senufo: Reframing Questions, Reevaluating Sources, and Reimagining a Digital Monograph,” a History in Africa article co-authored with Constantine Petridis, chair and curator of Arts of Africa at the Art Institute of Chicago. Gagliardi and Petridis now co-direct Mapping Senufo: Art, Evidence, and the Production of Knowledge—a collaborative, in-progress, born-digital, multimodal publication project.

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