Dr Andrew Smith
- Reader (Sociology)
My main area of interest is the study of literature, sport and creative cultures more generally, in the colonial and postcolonial contexts. My doctoral research involved empirical work with the Nigerian expatriate community in the West of Scotland, and an investigation of the experiences of authors and artists working in Nigeria, and I have been involved with the discussion of the concepts of cultural hybridity, diaspora and migration in recent social and cultural theory.
My most recent work has been on the relationship between racism and everyday life. This work relates to my current role as a co-investigator with the ESRC Research Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (www.ethnicity.ac.uk). In particular, I have tried to bring together sociological work on racism and ethnicity with the philosophical discussion of everyday life. This has led to a recent essay in Ethnic and Racial Studies (DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.987307) and a new (short) monograph in the Palgrave Pivot series, published in 2016.
In the past I have published a number of articles on the West Indian writer C.L.R. James, culminating in a book - C.L.R. James and the Study of Culture - which was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010. This was subsequently shortlisted for the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams prize for 2011. [Reviews: Caribbean Review of Books; and from Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.] Another essay, which discusses and compares James' writing on culture and black politics was published in the December 2011 issue of Cultural Sociology and was subsequently the winner of the British Sociological Association / Sage Prize for Innovation/Excellence 2012. In 2013 I helped lead the organization of a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of C.L.R. James' great work 'Beyond a Boundary'. You can find films from the event here, thanks to the hard work of the crew of the charity World Write.
Other work considers: the history of the representation of imperial defeats, and of the wider significance of tropes of embattlement, captivity and besiegement in understandings of empire (see this issue of Race and Class); work on the peculiar nature of the social relationship which exists between service sector workers and their customers (see this essay from New Left Review), and an interpretive account of Nigerian e-mail scams in Cultural Studies.
Finally I am, whenever I have a spare moment, trying to work on a small project, with the help of Prof. Bridget Fowler, called 'Reading Poetry Today', which examines the ways in which different readers engage with and make sense of contemporary poetry. This is part of a wider project I am developing on the sociology of poetry.
Co-Investigator with the ESRC research Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity: www.ethnicity.ac.uk
I supervise, or have supervised, students working in various areas related to my research interests, and am always interested in considering supervision in relation to projects in these areas: cultural sociology inlcuding the sociology of sport; empire, imperialism and postcolonialism; the sociology of racism and anti-racism.
Courses on Understanding Empire, After Empire, Cultural Sociology and Black Radical Social Theory.