Sarah E.K. Smith is a scholar and curator based in Ottawa. Her research addresses visual and material culture, with a focus on modern and contemporary art, as well as exhibitions, museums, and cultural policies. Current projects encompass a range of topics from contemporary video art and artists’ labour unions to the international circulation of exhibitions, curatorial networks, and cultural diplomacy. She works as Assistant Professor in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University, where she teaches courses on visual culture, creative labour and cultural diplomacy.

At Carleton University, Sarah is Affiliated Faculty in the Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS), where she is associated with the Specialization in Global Media and Communication. She is also an Affiliate of the ALiGN (ALternative Global Network) Media Lab.

Additionally, Sarah is Affiliated Faculty at Queen’s University, where she works with graduate students in the Cultural Studies Program.

Sarah has been a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute since 2018. She is also actively engaged the pedagogy of visual culture as a core team member of the Open Art Histories initiative.

In 2017, Sarah co-founded the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI)—a transdisciplinary research network addressing cultural diplomacy that includes academics, policymakers and practitioners from North American and beyond.

Prior to joining the faculty at Carleton University, Sarah held the 2015 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. She also held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Transnational Studies Initiative at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, and a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Sarah has experience in the museum sector and was the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.