Susan McKenna is a senior lecturer with Commonwealth Honors College. She has an interdisciplinary background with a bachelor's degree in English and theater, an associate's degree and master's degree in fine arts, as well as a master's degree and doctorate in communication. She has taught in three departments at the university—art, legal studies, and communication—and is now a full-time faculty member in Commonwealth Honors College. Along with other courses, she teaches the honors thesis course "In/Visible in Hollywood." As the former director of research literacy, McKenna initiated the incorporation of research skills into the Dean’s Book Course, and received a grant for developing the Research Literacy Fellowships, a faculty professional development initiative.
McKenna's large-scale photographic installations have been exhibited at multiple venues including White Columns Gallery, Parsons School of Design, Danforth Museum of Art, and Boston Museum of Fine Art. McKenna received the finalist award for the Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowships.
Her research interests on the connections among popular culture, social identity, and daily life are represented in “The Queer Insistence of Ally McBeal.” McKenna's commitment to critical pedagogy can be seen in “Reciprocal Mentoring” and “Theory and Practice: Revisiting Critical Pedagogy in Studio Art Education.” Current research focuses on the television program Ugly Betty; queer visibility and community in Northampton, Massachusetts; and inquiry into teaching about diversity and social justice in the digital age.