About Dr. Smith
About Dr. Smith
Cassandra Smith (BFA, University of Tulsa; MFA, MA, and PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago) is a Visiting Lecturer in Contemporary Art, with a particular focus on Indigenous Art. Dr. Smith’s area of specialization is Native American art, film, and performance, and she situates her research and pedagogy within the disciplinary and methodological frameworks of Indigenous studies, digital humanities, performance studies, gender studies, decolonial museum practices, and critical ethnographic studies.
Dr. Smith strongly believes that engagement with the arts is vital to the development of the analytical skills necessary to the formation of a more just and equitable world, and she encourages students to consider the significance of an arts education to the creation of an informed global citizenry. Her teaching and research engage with key cultural concepts such as land-based knowledge systems; community responsibility; themes of materiality, relationality, and performativity; and strategies of refusal—concerns that powerfully intersect with Feminist, Queer, Black, and Latinx art histories and practices and contribute to an expanding global and anti-colonial art-historical discourse.
Dr. Smith previously served as the Tribal Archivist for the Pueblo of Isleta Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation, where she was the author and project lead for several grants, including a Mellon Foundation Community-Based Archives Grant, a Society of American Archivists Foundation Strategic Growth Grant, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Sustaining the Humanities Grant. She is the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Digital Knowledge Sharing Fellowship at the American Philosophical Society Library and Museum Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies and an Indigenous Communities Research Fellowship at the American Philosophical Society Library and Museum.