Susannah Radstone is an interdisciplinary Humanities researcher specializing in cultural theory and cultural memory. Her publications span memory and trauma studies, film and TV, literature and, more recently, the visual arts. Her PhD ‘The Women’s Room: Women and the Confessional Mode’ (Film and Literature, Warwick University, 1989) brought together film and literary theory, cultural studies, feminist psychoanalysis and Foucault, setting the mould for her future interdisciplinarity.
Between 1989-1994 she lectured in English at Keele University where she developed a new undergraduate Film Studies program before moving to the University of East London, where, in its previous incarnation as North-East London Polytechnic (NELP) she had been privileged to be in the first cohort to study for a degree in Cultural Studies (1980-3) and where she was taught by a generous and inspiring group of scholars including Sally Alexander, Catherine Hall, Rosemary Jackson and Bill Schwarz, all of whom played a role in nurturing her commitment to feminism and her growing interests in psychoanalysis and the cinema.
At UEL (1994-2013) Susannah worked as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor of Cultural Theory, teaching film studies for twenty years. During her time at UEL, Susannah also researched, taught and supervised more widely across cultural and media studies, developing courses in screen and memory studies and a core unit on ‘Memory, Heritage and the Politics of the Past’ for the new UEL/Birkbeck MA Heritage Studies. She was also an active member of the Raphael Samuel History Centre.
During her career in London Susannah was influential in the development of the interdisciplinary field of memory studies. With Mary Chamberlain, Selma Leydesdorff and Paul Thompson she co-edited the Routledge series ‘Studies in Memory and Narrative’. She convened and co-convened the long-running inter-university London ‘Cultural Memory’ seminar series, convened a symposium series on ‘Memory in National Contexts’ and, with her UEL colleague Katharine Hodgkin, organised the first major international conference in Memory Studies (‘Frontiers of Memory’, Institute of Education, September 1999). She represented the UK on the management committee of the EU COST funded project ‘In Search of Transcultural Memory in Europe’.
In 2013 Susannah was appointed Dean: Research in the Division for the Education, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of South Australia, moving to a research-only Professorship in Cultural Theory at the end of 2015, when she moved to Melbourne with a concurrent Adjunct Fellowship in History at Monash.
Susannah’s publications include (ed.) Memory and Methodology (2000); (ed. with Katharine Hodgkin) Regimes of Memory (2003); (ed. with Katharine Hodgkin) Contested Pasts (2003); (ed. with Caroline Bainbridge, Michael Rustin and Candida Yates) Culture and the Unconscious (2007); (ed. with Corinne Squire and Amal Treacher, Public Emotions (2007); The Sexual Politics of Time (2007); (ed. with Bill Schwarz) Memory: Histories, Theories Debates (2010) and many journal articles.
Susannah has presented more than 20 invited international keynotes and public lectures and her research has been supported by two grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Board/Council and several from the British Academy.
Susannah’s current projects include (with Clare Corbould) the ‘Legacies of Unfree Labour in Australia’ project, convening the Australian Memory Research Network, and working with colleagues at La Trobe and Victoria Universities on a new digital education/travel/reconciliation project. She is currently completing a monograph titled Getting Over Trauma and has new essays forthcoming on Top of the Lake (Critical Arts) and on ‘Thinking trauma: Alex Seton’s “Someone died trying to have a life like mine”‘ (in a special dossier in Continuum co-edited with Felicity Collins).