Professor Andrew Smith
- Professor of Sociology (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.
More recently I have worked on the relationship between racism and everyday life and was one of the co-investigator in the first interation of 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 led to an essay in Ethnic and Racial Studies, and to a short monograph entitled Racism and Everyday Life.
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. 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. A new Duke University Press volume, for which I was the lead editor, brings together for the first time a series of original secondary analyses of Beyond a Boundary. Entitled Marxism, Colonialism and Cricket, it was published in 2019. You can read the introductory chapter here. Reviews from a range of journals are given below:
Some of my 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.
At present I am working 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, and which is intended to lead towards a new monograph on this topic.
I have supervised nearly 20 PhD students to completion and am always interested in considering supervision in relation to projects in these areas: cultural sociology including the sociology of sport; empire, imperialism and postcolonialism; the sociology of racism and anti-racism; the sociology of everyday life; Black radical social theory.
I have contributed sections to our Level 1A course (on the sociology of everyday life) and Level 1B course (on the sociology of racism); as well as to our Level 2a course (introductory 'classical' sociology) and our Level 2B course ('understanding popular culture'). At Honours level I teach courses entitled: Understanding Empire, After Empire, Cultural Sociology and Black Radical Social Thought. I also contribute sessions on postcolonial approaches to various PGT programmes.