Professor Susan Hodgett

Professor Susan Hodgett
Dr Susan Hodgett

Professor Susan Hodgett

Susan Hodgett is the founding Professor of Area Studies at the University of East Anglia focusing on identifying, leading and developing research activity across the Faculty of Humanities and beyond in Area Studies.

Susan was Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded Blurring Genres Network, exploring the use of narratives in relation to modern governance, with Professors RAW Rhodes (Southampton University) and Mark Bevir (University of California, Berkeley). This project established a network to recover the research methods of the Arts and Humanities for Political Scientists, Area Studies scholars, and policymakers in the UK. It investigated blurring genres, or crossing boundaries between the disciplines, bringing together leading international scholars on interpretive approaches. Susan is also Chair of the 2021 REF Area Studies Sub Panel (UOA25) and Treasurer of the UK Council for Area Studies Associations.

Susan has in-depth experience of higher education systems outside the UK, including as former President of the International Council for Canadian Studies (ICCS) based in Ottawa, promoting research and teaching on Canada, and working with a cross-section of higher education providers and government departments. During this time, she chaired the ICCS Board initiating projects promoting greater diversity within the organisation and working with the cultural industries. Previously, she was an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, President of the British Association for Canadian Studies (2008-11), and organised the Canada-UK Joint Declaration Seminar Series.

Susan has worked with colleagues from the Human Development and Capability Association and Cambridge University on policy issues, the Capability Approach, and human development. Her work with Dr David Clark was used to inform public dialogues conducted by the What Works Wellbeing Centre (Sciencewise/HM Government), materials gathered contributed to later evidence programmes and the Sainsbury's Living Well Index. She has worked with Cabinet Office (Analysis and Insight Units), the Home Office (UK Civil Service Learning/Senior Civil Service and the Policy Profession), the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Investigation into Serious Violence 2019 and devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Scotland. She has also served on the advisory board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) evaluation project looking at UK legislatures' academic engagement.

Professor Hodgett has published widely. Her most recent book, with Professor Patrick James (University of Southern California) Necessary Travel: New Areas Studies and Canada in Comparative Perspective, was published by Lexington Press in 2018. Currently she is writing with Professor Rod Rhodes on What Political Science Can Learn from the Arts and Humanities- Blurring Genres to be published by Palgrave in 2020. She has extensive experience of peer review for national and international research councils and various academic publishers. Before becoming an academic Susan was General Secretary of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and worked closely with the voluntary sector.

Period of appointment: three years, from April 2018