UCCS | Department of Visual And Performing Arts





Suzanne MacAulay

Professor of Art History
Chair, Department of Visual and Performing Arts

Suzanne P. MacAulay is an art historian and folklorist. She is Professor and Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Before arriving at the University, she was recruited to develop a culturally oriented art history program for New Zealand’s Quay School of the Arts at the Wanganui Polytechnic Institute (now UCOL) and, subsequently, became Director. Her book Stitching Rites critiques the role of cultural politics in arts and crafts revitalization projects in the southwestern United States (Honorable Mention, American Folklore Society). She is consulting producer of a film based on Stitching Rites and San Luis Valley artist Josephine Lobato. A recent article, “Pictorial Narratives of San Luis, Colorado: Legacy, Place and Politics,” was published as the lead chapter in the first book on ethnicity in Colorado. MacAulay is writing a monograph on the artistic life of Josephine Lobato as well as a book on disapora, memory, culture, and identity politics inspired by New Zealand expatriate narratives. The initial stage of this narrative study received an Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust Award. Different research interests include material culture (Hispanic and South Pacific textiles), ethnoaesthetics, performance theory and personal narratives, memory, diaspora, globalization and class, as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning. Teaching specialities (an amalgam of art history and folklore studies) encompass non-western art history: e.g., South Pacific art and culture, art and aesthetics of Japan, Mesoamerican (Maya) ceremonial architecture, Islamic arts, plus ethnography of performing arts and folk art studies.

Watch Suzanne MacAulay's Stitching Rites trailer:

Selected Publications:

Stitching Rites: Colcha Emboridery Along the Northern Rio Grande
. Tuscson: The University Press of Arizona, 2000; and Honorable Mention, Elli Kongas-Miranda Publication Prize, American Folklore Society, Women's Section, 2001.

“Pictorial Narratives of San Luis, Colorado: Legacy, Place and Politics” in Enduring Legacies: Colorado Ethnic Culture and Histories edited by Arturo J. Aldama et al. Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado Press. 2010. Kayden Book Award, The College of Arts & Sciences, CU.

“Aesthetics,” “Folk Art,” “Embroidery,” “Piecework,” “Region: Pacific islands,” “Beadwork.” The Encyclopedia of Women’s Folklore and Folklife. Teresa A. Vaughan and Elizabeth Locke, Eds. 2 vols. ABC-CLIO Publishers, 2008.

“Lessons in Material Culture.” Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy.Volume 18:2. Fall 2007-Winter 2008, pp. 120-130.

“Diaspora by Degree: Narrative and Performance in Interviews of Expatriates from Wanganui, New Zealand.” The Journal of American Folklore 465: Summer 2004. Pp. 262-287.

“Finding Local Coordinates in a World of Difference: Oral Research with Cook Islands Women in Aotearoa/New Zealand.” Oral History in New Zealand 14: Spring 2002: 1-6. Invited.

“Keeping Taonga Warm: Museum Practice and Maori Guardianship.” Journal of Museum Education 24, no. 1 (Fall 1999): 14-17. Invited.

Recent Academic Presentations:
“Memory as a Sense of Place: Migration and Narration in Wanganui, New Zealand,” Contained Memory Conference 9-11 December 2010 at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.

“Colcha Embroidery as Cartography: Mapping Landscapes of Memory and Passage,” Textile Society of America 12th Biennial Symposium, Lincoln Nebraska, 6-9 October 2010.

“New Perspectives on Cultural Performance.” Co-presented with Dr. Kevin Landis. ATINER 1st Annual International Conference on Fine and Performing Arts. Athens, Greece, 7-10 June 2010.

“From One End to the Other: Weaving Across Time and Space.” Invited Keynote Address in conjunction with exhibition, Navajo Weaving: Diamonds, Dreams, Landscapes.” University of Colorado Natural History Museum, Boulder, Colorado, 15 May 2010.

“Twice-born Dionysus & The Wild Women.” Theatreworks Prologue Lecture Series, The Bacchae, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs 14 March 2010.


Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA

M.A. in Art History, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

B.A. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Selected University and Community Service

2010- Professional Graduate Advisor, MA Applied Professional Studies, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois.

2010- Advisory Board, Gallery of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

2009- CU President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative Steering Committee, UCCS Faculty Director.

2006-2011- Cultural Office of the Pike's Peak Region (COPPeR), Executive Board of Directors.

2004- Advisory Board, Theatreworks, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

1996-2003- Trust Board, Sarjeant Art Gallery, New Zealand (Deputy Chair 2000-2003).

Courses I Teach

• Art and Aesthetics of Japan
South Pacific Art and Ritual
Ethnography of Performing Arts
Material Matters: Ethnographic Textiles
• Islamic Arts
• Ancient Greek Art Travel Study
• Mesoamerican Art & Architecture: Sacred Time & Space