Sarah E.K. Smith is an Assistant Professor in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University. She is also Affiliated Faculty in the Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS), where she is associated with the Specialization in Global Media and Communication. Smith is a founding member of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (nacdi) and a 2018 fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
Her research scope encompasses modern and contemporary art and critical theory, with specific interest in the relationship between culture, economics and globalization. Smith’s doctoral dissertation explored the role of visual culture—including exhibitions of visual art and works of contemporary art—in facilitating the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement at the end of the twentieth century. Her current research aims to assess the relationship of Canadian museums, exhibitions and curators to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Smith is Affiliated Faculty at Queen’s University, where she works with graduate students in the Cultural Studies program. Before starting at Carleton University, she held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta (2016). She held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University (2014-16), where she was affiliated with the Transnational Studies Initiative at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Smith has taught at OCAD University, Queen’s University and the University of Southern California—where she held the 2015 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy. She maintains an active independent curatorial practice and previously worked as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.