Ashley Smith

Assistant Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies
Ashley Smith
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Ashley Smith

Ashley Elizabeth Smith, assistant professor of Native American studies and environmental justice, earned a B.A. in anthropology and French studies from Wheaton College, MA, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology with a graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous studies from Cornell University in 2017.


Smith was a visiting instructor in anthropology at Wheaton College, MA in the fall 2014. From 2015-2016, she was the Scholar-in-Residence Fellow in the American Studies Program at Carleton College and she continued as a visiting instructor in that program for winter and spring 2017 before joining Hampshire in the fall of 2017.

Broadly, Smith’s research interests include indigenous decolonization and revitalization, especially in New England; indigenous-settler relations past, present, and future; and the politics of knowledge production in settler colonial societies. Her most recent work focuses on the place, history, and memory of the Wabanaki village at Nanrantsouak on the upper Kennebec River in Maine. In this work, she considers how Wabanaki story, memory, and kinship to this place serve as resistance to settler colonial productions of history and memory that have narrated this place as the “end” of the Wabanaki in this area and enact new possibilities for the future. Her work is grounded in community and land. She is an advocate of research community-engaged, community directed, and collaborative on-the-ground learning.

Smith’s teaching interests include decolonizing U.S. lands and histories; indigenous New England, histories of Indian-settler relations; American Indian lands and sovereignties; indigenous environmental activism; indigenous ways of knowing; place and memory in social theory; structures of social inequality; and ethnographic methods.