Eustacia Riley's Profile

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Biographical Information

Eustacia Riley received her BA(FA), HDE (Higher Diploma in Education), MFA. and Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Before working at SDSU, she taught at the Design Institute of San Diego, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and at numerous other Cape Town art institutions. She also worked as a researcher in archival and museum studies at the University of Cape Town and helped mount a significant digital archive documenting the folklore, art and language of the /Xam San of Southern Africa (recorded in the later 19th century), as well as assisting on numerous associated exhibitions and publications. Related to this digitization project she published a chapter on landscape in the narratives of the /Xam in “Claim to The Country: The Archive of Lucy Lloyd And Wilhelm Bleek” by Pippa Skotnes (2007). This book was awarded the Outstanding Academic Title Status by Choice Magazine among others.

Dr Riley’s research interests are diverse and include the visual history and representation of apartheid-era South African landscapes on film; the visual history of 19th century Europe and its colonies (particularly the representation of indigenous peoples in colonial era-ethnographic photographs, museum dioramas and Empire exhibitions); the rock art and history of the San; the history of photographic media (including film); and landscape studies. Since moving to the US, Dr Riley has expanded her research interests to include representations of the American landscape in painting, photography and cinema (specifically frontier landscapes in South Africa and the USA); and the history of American ethnographic photography and museum display.

Dr Riley currently teaches four courses at SDSU: African, Asian and Oceanic Art; European Art until 1945; Art after 1945; and Photography: Past and Present. She is also a painter.


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