Head of Department
Academic and Student Services Division
Professor Claire Smith is Head of the Department of Archaeology at Flinders University. She has produced nine books, the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology and more than 130 publications in English, Spanish, Catalan, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese. She is a University Medalist and former Fulbright PostDoctoral Fellow with the American University and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Her high-level national appointments include a three-year appointment to the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts.
Claire Smith visiting posts at international institutions includes a one-year position at Columbia University in New York. She has raised over $3.8 million in funding for humanities research projects, including two Fulbright grants and six Australian Research Council grants.
As the twice-elected President of the World Archaeological Congress, (2003-2014) Claire Smith has built global research capacity through establishing the Archaeologists without Borders and Global Libraries Programs, supporting the establishment of a refereed journal, Archaeologies, and by initiating five new international book series.
Claire Smith's areas of specialist expertise include Indigenous archaeology, rock art, gender, archaeological ethics, anthropological archaeology, world archaeology.
1996 Doctor of Philosophy. University of New England, Australia.
Title of thesis: Situating Style: an ethno-archaeological study of social and material context in an Australian Aboriginal artistic system.
1990 Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours, University Medal, University of New England, Australia.
Title of thesis: Designed Dreaming: assessing the relationship between style, social structure and environment in Aboriginal Australia.
2010 Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
2008 Archaeologist of the Year for 2008. International Institute of Anthropology, Utah, USA.
2006 National Carrick Award for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Team Category (with H. Burke).
2004 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching, Flinders University, Team Category (with H. Burke).
2003 White Bequest for an Archaeological Publication, Australian Academy of Humanities.
2000-01 Australian Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (two awards given nationally across all disciplines at this level).
1999 Prince of Wales Award, Queen's Trust for Young Australians. With Lester Rigney, Yunggorendi First Nations Centre, Flinders.
1994-97 Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship.
1996 David Phillips Memorial Award for a postgraduate thesis in Aboriginal studies.
1994 Northern Territory History Award.
1993 Judy Ewing Memorial Prize (shared) for personal contribution by a student to the University and wider community, UNE.
1990 University Medal, University of New England.
Claire Smith's key responsibilities for Flinders University include undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, postgraduate supervision and university administration. She is the Honours and Postgraduate coordinator for the Department of Archaeology, and a member of Flinders' University College of Distinguished Educators.
World Archaeological Congress
Claire Smith is President of the World Archaeological Congress. As Chair of the WAC Executive and Council she is responsible for overall direction, leadership and accountability to members.
Membership of Expert Committees
2009-11 Humanities and Creative Arts Panel, College of Experts, Australian Research Council.
2009- Reference Group, Australian World Heritage Committee.
2010- Reference Group, Australian Research Collaboration Service.
2010- World Commission of Anthropologies, American Anthropological Association.
Claire Smith's teaching aims to ensure high professional standards in archaeology and to promote student awareness of social justice issues, especially in Indigenous communities, and ethical globalisation. Her achievements as a teacher lie with her publications, presentations, teaching grants, and the professional opportunities she has facilitated for her students, in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and the USA. She has a scholarly interest in enhancing teaching through effective use of the Internet.
Books on Teaching
2000 C. Smith Teaching Archaeology in Cyberspace. Adelaide: Southern Archaeology. ISBN 1 876675 24.
2007 H. Burke and C. Smith Archaeology to Delight and Instruct. Active Learning in the University Classroom. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. ISBN-13: 978 1 59874-256-5 (hc) & 978 1 59874-257-2 (pb). 288 pp.
2006 $25000 Carrick National Award for Teaching, Team Category (with H. Burke).
2004 $5000 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching, Flinders University, Team Category (with H. Burke).
Conference Sessions on Teaching
July 2005 C. Smith and H. Burke 'Mortimer Wheeler, Lewis Binford, Ian Hodder ... and you. Active Learning in Archaeology'. Showcase paper session, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australiasia (HERDSA) Conference, Sydney.
June 2003 H. Burke and C. Smith 'Teaching Archaeology for Fun'. WAC-5, Washington, D.C.
Conference Papers on Teaching
June 2003 C. Smith and H. Burke 'Becoming Binford: Role-Playing as a Way of Teaching Archaeological Theory and Method'. Washington, DC.
June 2003 C. Smith, A. Warner and S. Ford 'We Are Family: Teaching 'Skin' To Mununga'. Washington, DC.
Jan 1999 C. Smith 'Teaching Archaeology in Cyberspace'. Cape Town, South Africa.
Jan 1999 C. Smith 'Skills for Cyberia: using the Internet to teach archaeology students'. Cape Town, South Africa.
Dec 1998 C. Smith 'Engendering Power Through the Web'. Australian Archaeological Association, Valla, NSW.
Claire Smith's primary research interests are rock art, gender, contact archaeology and the ethics of archaeological practice. She has a broad intellectual vision and an inter-disciplinary approach to research, teaching and public engagement. She has undertaken collaborative projects with scholars from cultural studies, history, Indigenous studies, anthropology and theology.
Claire Smith's current research interests include the impact of the Northern Territory Emergency Response on Aboriginal identity and an analysis of the possession and distribution of Ngadjuri knowledge, and how this articulates with notions of identity, heritage and land use. The latter project aims to explore how Aboriginal cultural and intellectual knowledge has been reshaped and relocated since initial contact with Europeans, and to understand the process by which some of this knowledge is not available to Ngadjuri people today. The principal innovation of the research is longitudinal mapping of the movement of Indigenous knowledge.
Claire Smith's experience includes the convening of two high quality, community-based international conferences, 'Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World' (1997), and 'Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property' (2006), both of which received extensive media coverage, at local, national and international levels. Her international collaborations include the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage project, an international group of archaeologists, Indigenous organizations, lawyers, anthropologists, policy makers, and others which seeks to establish more equitable and successful research and policies through community-based research and the topical exploration of intellectual property issues. In April 2008, this project received an award of $2.5 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's Major Collaborative Research Initiatives program.
: Indigenous Archaeology
; contact archaeology
: gender archaeology
; Aboriginal art
Areas of Specialist Expertise: Indigenous archaeology, rock art, gender, archaeological ethics, anthropological archaeology, world archaeology.
Aboriginal Australia: Claire Smith has conducted fieldwork with Aboriginal people in the Katherine East region of the Northern Territory for over twenty years. In 1991, Phyllis Wiynjorroc, the senior traditional owner of Bagula clan lands, gave her son the name Lamjerroc, after Phyllis' father. he Since 1998, Claire has worked closely with the Ngadjuri people of South Australia, who are in the process of returning to country.
Claire has a passionate interest in bringing about sustainable, long-term changes in community attitudes to Aboriginal people, particularly through the school curriculum and through enhancing community appreciation of the unique accomplishments of Indigenous Australians. Claire was the instigator, co-ordinator and principal author of the 200 page submission, A Past for all Australians: Archaeology and Australia's National History Curriculum, a proposal to the Australian Federal government to develop the new national curriculum so that it is more socially inclusive of Indigenous knowledges and achievements.
World Archaeological Congress: As the President of the World Archaeological Congress from 2003-2014, Claire Smith has led the establishment of a number of projects that build research and teaching capacity in economically disadvantaged countries, including the Global Libraries and Archaeologists without Borders programs. Claire has established five books series for the World Archaeological Congress and is Head Series Editor for the Indigenous Archaeologies Series, published by Alta Mira Press, and the Global Cultural Heritage Manuals series, published by Springer. Working with Foundation Editors Nick Shepherd (South Africa) and Anne Pyburn (USA), she established the new refereed journal, Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress (ERA Rank A).