Abigail Susik

Associate Professor of Art History
Specialty: Modern and Contemporary Art History


  • B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University
  • M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University

Research and Teaching

Professor Susik's primary area of expertise is Modern Art History and Theory, with a research focus on 20th-century surrealism. A secondary research area includes new media aesthetics in contemporary art. At Willamette, Dr. Susik offers courses on 18th- through 21st-century Art History, The History of Photography, Methodologies of Art History, and specialized topics in Modern and Contemporary Art. Her books include Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work (forthcoming in 2021, Manchester University Press), and two co-edited volumes: Radical Dreams: Surrealism, Counterculture, Resistance (forthcoming in 2021, Penn State University Press); Surrealism and Film After 1945: Absolutely Modern Mysteries (forthcoming in 2021, Manchester University Press).

She is co-curator of the 2021 exhibition “Alan Glass: Surrealism’s Secret” at the Leeds Arts University, and also curated a major survey of Imogen Cunningham’s photographs at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in 2016. Susik is a founding board member of the International Study for the Society of Surrealism and co-organizer of its 2018, 2019 and 2021 conferences.  Between 2015 and 2019, she was an Associate Editor of the College Art Association publication, Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus and a member of the New Media Caucus Board of Directors. 

Selected Awards

Lawrence D. Cress Award for Faculty Scholarship, Willamette University, 2020

The Graves Award in the Humanities, "South American Surrealism: Expanding Modernism's Canon Through Teaching and Research in Art History," for six weeks of funded travel in Peru, Chile, and Argentina, Pomona College, 2020

Council of Independent Colleges seminar fellow, The Art of Storytelling in French Painting and Sculpture 1600–1850,” Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, July, 2015

Faculty Achievement Awards in Teaching and Research, Willamette University, 2015

Curated Exhibitions

Co-curator, Alan Glass: Surrealism's Secret, Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk Gallery, April-May, 2021

"For Myself": Nudes by Imogen Cunningham, 1906-1939, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, February 13 – May 1, 2016



Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work (Manchester University Press, 2021).


Radical Dreams: Surrealism, Counterculture, Resistance, coedited with Dr. Elliott H. King (Penn State University Press, 2021).

Alan Glass: Surrealism’s Secret, coedited with Dr. Kristoffer Noheden (Leeds Arts University, 2021).

Surrealism and Film After 1945: Absolutely Modern Mysteries, coedited with Dr. Kristoffer Noheden (Manchester University Press, 2021).

Invited Books

Picturesque Snot: Polemics of the Landscape, a Collection of Correspondences between Jordan Tate and Abigail Susik, cowritten with Jordan Tate (Special Collections Press, 2019).

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

“Autobiography and Automatism in Aragon’s Anicet (1920) and Leiris’s Aurora (1927-28),” forthcoming in History of the Surrealist Novel, ed. Anna Watz (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

 “The Alchemy of Surrealist Presence in Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain,” forthcoming in Surrealism and Film after 1945: Absolutely Modern Mysteries, eds. Kristoffer Noheden and Abigail Susik (Manchester University Press, 2021).

“Aragon’s Modern Mythology and the Surrealist Détournement of ‘Old Poetic Things,’” forthcoming in Surrealism and Mythology, eds. Grazina Subelyte, Daniel Zamani, Kristoffer Noheden (Routledge, 2021).

“Points of Convergence: Chicago 1960s,” forthcoming in the exhibition catalogue Surrealism Beyond Borders (The Tate Modern; Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021).

“Subcultural Receptions of Surrealism in the 1960s International Underground Press:Resurgence and Other Publications,” forthcoming in Cambridge Critical Concepts: Surrealism, ed. Natalya Lusty (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Chicago Surrealism, Herbert Marcuse, and the Affirmation of the ‘Present and Future Viability of Surrealism,’” Journal of Surrealism and the Americas 11:1 (2020): 42–62.

“Art History Hacked: Art Hack Practice as Intra-garde,” Art Hack Practice: Sites for Artistic Co-Production, eds. Victoria Bradbury and Suzy O’Hara (Routledge, 2019), 15–22.

“Panique,” “Beauty,” and “Poetics,” The International Encyclopedia of Surrealism, eds. Michael Richardson, Dawn Ades, Krzysztof Fijalkowski, Steven Harris, Georges Sebbag (Bloomsbury Press, 2019), 171–74, 282–85, 521–24.

“Dada’s Birthday Bibliography,” Modernism/modernity 24, no. 3 (September 2017):629–37.

 “Animistic Time in Hans Richter’s Vormittagsspuk (1927–1928),” in Time and Temporalitin Literary Modernism (1900–1950) (Peeters, 2016), 243–58.

“Chance and Automatism: Genealogies of the Dissociative in Dada and Surrealism,” Blackwell Companion to Dada and Surrealism, ed. David Hopkins (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), 242–57.

"Snobbism, Juvenilia and 'The Children's Corner:' Carrington's Contributions to S.NOB in1962," Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde, eds. Jonathan P. Eburne and Catriona McAra (Manchester University Press, 2016).

"Ocean Semiosis," feature catalogue essay in Plastika Alaska, au. Andy Hughes with contributions by Mark Dion, Pam Longobardi, Nicholas Mallos, Howard Ferren,Carl Safina (Plastic Editions, 2015). 6-11.

"Surrealism and Jules Verne: Depth of Subtext in a Collage by Max Ernst,"Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics, ed. Gavin Parkinson (Liverpool University Press, 2015). 16-39.

"The Drone in Social Imaginaries," catalogue essay in Art2Drone (College Art Association and v1b3, 2015). 10-12.

"'The Perpetration of the Cultural Act:' Interview with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer," Media-N, fall 2014, vol. 11, no. 3. 111-113.

"Consuming and Consumed: Woman as Habituée in Eugène Grasset's Morphinomaniac (1897)," Decadence, Degeneration and the End: Studies in the European Fin de Siècle, eds. Marja Härmänmaa and Christopher Nissen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). 103-123.

"Mimesis, Coding, Programming: Considerations on the Meta-Image and the Microcontroller in New Media Art," Meta- and Inter-Images in Contemporary Visual Art and Culture, ed. Carla Taban (Leuven University Press, 2013). 281-297.

"The Screen Politics of Architectural Projection," Public: Art, Culture, Ideas, vol. 45, "Civic Spectacle," spring 2012. 106-119.

"Sky Projectors, Portapaks and Projection Bombing: the Rise of a Portable Projection Medium," Journal of Film and Video, special double issue on video history, vol. 64, nos. 1-2, spring/summer, 2012. 79-92.

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