Susan Close is an academic, photographer and writer. She is Associate Dean Academic, Environmental Design Program Chair and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Acting Dean of Studies and a Senior Fellow at St. John’s College, all at the University of Manitoba. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam in 2005. Her book, Framing Identity: Social Practices of Photography in Canada (1880-1920), was published by Arbeiter Ring Publishing in 2007. This study, supported by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral fellowship was shortlisted for three Manitoba Book Awards.
Dr. Close teaches interdisciplinary courses on theory, history and photography in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. She is also a recipient of the Carl Nelson Jr. Teaching Award by the Faculty of Architecture and an Accessibility Award from Student Accessibility Services at the University of Manitoba. She has lectured on her research at Carleton University, University of Ottawa, University of Manitoba and the National Gallery of Canada. Her research has also been published in numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She has presented papers at history, art history and design conferences nationally and internationally.
Her community involvement includes developing and coordinating visual literacy programs using photography as a communication tool for Inter-city schools in Ottawa. She has also acted twice as a mentor for Mentoring Artists for Women Art (MAWA), a Winnipeg-based arts organization. Dr. Close was invited to give the 5th Annual Wendy Wersch Memorial lecture for MAWA. In addition, she has given public lectures on issues of representation at venues such as Platform Gallery and the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice in Winnipeg. She is a research affiliate for the Centre for Human Rights, University of Manitoba. Dr. Close has served as a juror for the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council and as an external appraiser for the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.
As an independent curator, Dr. Close has curated exhibitions for Library and Archives Canada, the City of Ottawa and Gallery 111, Ottawa, as well as the Faculty of Architecture Gallery at the University of Manitoba. Her photographic work has been exhibited in Canada and Europe and features in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Carleton Region, The Photographers Gallery and the Remai Modern. She has received grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.