Assistant Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies
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 CSI 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.
Who decides which places are important for us to remember? How do we go about remembering them? And how do other places or other stories get pushed aside or silenced in the process? In this course we will explore how certain places and histories come to be important to us and our sense of local and national belonging. We will critically examine specific sites of national and local memory such as Plymouth Rock, Mt. Rushmore, and Historic Deerfield. We will examine the processes through which narratives of nationalism are created and distributed from contested histories and places. We explore some of the politics of national remembering and forgetting and the ways those politics impact alternative views of history. Note: this course may include a field trip.