Sarah E.K. Smith is a scholar and curator whose research explores contemporary art and museums, with an interest in how artworks and institutions provide a lens to address cultural diplomacy, cultural labour, and cultural policies.
An Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University, Sarah also holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Art, Culture and Global Relations. As CRC, Sarah is undertaking a program of research addressing cultural diplomacy. This work builds on her efforts as a founding member of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NACDI), as well as her contributions as a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and a member of the International Cultural Relations Research Alliance (ICRRA).
Sarah is Affiliated Faculty at Queen’s University, where she works with graduate students in the Cultural Studies program. She has taught at Carleton University, 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. Sarah is also a core member of the Open Art Histories initiative, a collective of Canadian scholars in communication, art history, visual arts, and museum studies, who aim to advance discussions on the pedagogy of visual culture.
Sarah maintains an active independent curatorial practice and previously worked as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. She is currently contributing to Western University’s newly established Centre for Sustainable Curating.