Susan Benton Bruning (J.D., M.A., B.A., B.B.A., Southern Methodist University) is Assistant Professor of Arts and Law in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Prior to joining the faculty, Susan was a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Texas Wesleyan University and Adjunct Lecturer in Law at SMU’s Dedman School of Law and Meadows School of the Arts. Susan’s areas of academic training and interest include law, business, arts, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Susan has practiced law for more than twenty years in the areas of arts, entertainment, intellectual property, and cultural heritage. Her clients have included museums, art galleries and dealers, professional artists, art collectors, vocalists, musicians, television production companies, filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, dancers, and authors. Her professional activities include serving as chair of the Committee on Repatriation for the Society for American Archaeology, member of the board of managers of the School for Advanced Research on the Human Experience, advisory board member for Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, and research team member and committee co-chair for the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage international task force.
As a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, Susan works collaboratively with colleagues from the pueblos of Hopi and Zuni to explore issues involving cultural heritage, objects of art and antiquity, intellectual property rights, and law. She has published articles addressing contemporary legal issues in the areas of arts, cultural heritage, entertainment, and repatriation. Her works have been published in Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal, IFAR Journal of the International Foundation for Art Research, Media and Arts Law Journal, American Antiquity, Archaeology Southwest, and in several edited volumes. She has received funded fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the School for Advanced Research.