Professor Claire Smith

Professor

College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Research expertise

Claire Smith's academic life is driven by three passions. First, to convey the sophistication and accomplishments of Indigenous Australians, past and present. Second, to enrich intellectually academia by strengthening the global impact of scholars from low-income countries. Third, to nurture the next generation of scholars who make a difference.

Research expertise

Claire Smith's academic life is driven by three passions. First, to convey the sophistication and accomplishments of Indigenous Australians, past and present. Second, to enrich intellectually academia by strengthening the global impact of scholars from low-income countries. Third, to nurture the next generation of scholars who make a difference.

place Humanities Building (238)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Claire Smith is a Professor of Archaeology in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. She has produced 12 books and more than 150 publications in English, Spanish, Catalan, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese. She is editor of the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology which has 8,013 pages, 2,619 figures,106 tables,1,390 authors and 1,625 entries. This publication has had almost 300,00 downloads.

She is a University Medalist and former Fulbright PostDoctoral Fellow with the American University and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. She has been a visiting scholar at Cape Town University, the University of Denver, Lock Haven University and Kyushu University. In addition, she has held one-year posts at the University of Newcastle and at Columbia University in New York.

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 initiating five new international book series.

Claire Smith has raised over $3.8 million in funding for humanities research projects, including two Fulbright grants and seven Australian Research Council grants.Her areas of specialist expertise include culturally informed sustainable development in Indigenouos communities, Indigenous archaeology, rock art, gender, archaeological ethics, global archaeology and socially mediated terrorism.

At a personal level, Claire Smith aspires to learning how to play the flute, master Japanese and Spanish, and, at some stage, acquire two Dalmations, Spot and Dot.

Qualifications

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. Supervisors: Jane Balme, Betty Meehan and Mike Morwood.

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. Supervisors: Jane Balme and Mike Morwood.

Honours, awards and grants

2018 Lucy Mair Medal and Marsh Award, Royal Anthropological Institute, London.

2018 Commemorative Medal, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, World Archaeological Congress.

2014 Elected Life Member of Flinders Archaeology Society.

2010 Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

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 Australian Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (two awards given nationally across all disciplines at this level). One year.

1999 Prince of Wales Award, Queen's Trust for Young Australians. With Lester Rigney, Yunggorendi First Nations Centre, Flinders.

1994 Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship. Three years.

1996 David Phillips Memorial Award for a postgraduate thesis in Aboriginal studies, University of New England.

1994 Northern Territory History Award.

1993 Judy Ewing Memorial Prize (shared) for personal contribution by a student to the university and wider community, University of New England.

1990 University Medal, University of New England.

Key responsibilities

Flinders University
Claire Smith's key responsibilities at Flinders University are to engage in high-quality and innovative research and teaching; to advise postgraduate students so that they produce high quality research theses in a timely manner whilst simultaneously becoming well positioned for post-study employment in an ever-changing world; and to encourage her colleageagues in this endeavour. She is a member of Flinders University's College of Distinguished Educators.

World Archaeological Congress
Claire Smith is the immediate past president of the World Archaeological Congress

Membership of Expert Committees
2018—Dental Health Service Expert Advisory Committee, Royal Flying Doctor Service.

2015— Science & Research Committee, South Australian Museum.

2009—11 Humanities & Creative Arts Panel, College of Experts, Australian Research Council.

2009—10 Reference Group, Australian World Heritage Committee.

2010 World Commission of Anthropologies, American Anthropological Association. 

2003—09 Public Education Committee, Society for American Archaeology. 

2007 Humanities Assessment Panel, Research Quality Framework, Australian Research Council.

Research expertise
Anthropology
Archaeology
Communication and media studies
Gender Studies
Globalisation
Indigenous health
Indigenous identities
Learning and teaching
Visual Art
Research interests

Claire Smith has a broad intellectual vision and an inter-disciplinary approach to research, teaching and public engagement. Her main field of research is Indigenous archaeology, especially rock art and gender, and culturally-informed and sustainable development in Indigenous communities. While she has conducted fieldwork with Indigenous groups in Asia and North America, her primary research interests lie with Indigenous Australia. Her theoretical focus is the archaeology of art and symbolic communication. She also conducts research into the reshaping and relocation of Indigenous knowledge, explored in collaboration with Ngadjuri people from South Australia. She has undertaken collaborative projects with scholars from cultural studies, history, Indigenous studies, Indonesian studies, philosophy, anthropology and theology.

Claire has worked with Aboriginal communities in the Barunga region of the Northern Territory, Australia since 1990. In 2018, her fieldwork is focusing on 1) identifying unmarked graves and 2) developing culturally sustainable health care services in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. She is working in partnership with Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The research draws on generative and ground-up research methods in which change is generated by collaborative research that engages Aboriginal knowledge practices. It takes a family-centred, culturally-informed, strengths-based approach that foregrounds cultural leadership, Aboriginal family values and individual aspirations. By taking a culturally-informed and culturally-safe approach to the delivery of health services in the Sunrise communities we aim to Bridge the Gap of cultural knowledge between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in order to Close the Gap in health, longivity, education and employment.

The book that Claire Smith is currently completing is Style as Social Strategy, to be published by Routledge in 2019.

Teaching interests

Books on—or for—Teaching
2017 H. Burke, M. Morrison and C. Smith. The Archaeologist's Field Handbook. 2nd ed. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 536 pages.

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.

2000 C. Smith Teaching Archaeology in Cyberspace. Adelaide: Southern Archaeology. ISBN 1 876675 24.

Teaching Awards
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

Aug 2016 C. Smith, and Neel Kamap Chapagain, Nepal. Education: Learning and unlearning. Eighth World Archaeology Congress Congress (WAC-8), Kyoto, Japan.

July 2005 C. Smith and H. Burke 'Mortimer Wheeler, Lewis Binford, Ian Hodder ... and you. Active Learning in Archaeology'. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australiasia, Sydney.

June 2003 H. Burke and C. Smith 'Teaching archaeology for fun'. WAC-5, Washington, D.C.

Conference Papers on Teaching

Aug 2016 A. Hennessey, J. Willika, J. Ralph, C. Smith and G. Jackson Teaching for an engaged archaeology. Social and research outputs from a long-held Aboriginal archaeology field school. WAC-8, Kyoto, Japan.

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.

Community Archaeology Field School

Barunga community, Northern Territory

Topic coordinator
ARCH1001 Discovering Archaeology
ARCH8810 Community Archaeology Field School
ARCH2207 The Archaeological Imagination
ARCH3107 History of Archaeology
ARCH2208 The Museum
ARCH2209 Archaeology of Art
Topic lecturer
ARCH1002 From the Palaeolithic to Pompeii
Supervisory interests
Aboriginal art
Cultural heritage
Gender
Globalisation and indigenous peoples
Indigenous archaeology
Sustainable development
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Indigenous Archaeology (3), contact archaeology (1)
Associate supervisor: Aboriginal art (1), gender archaeology (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Christopher Wilson

The first Aboriginal Australian with a PhD in archaeology - APR 2017

Publications
Expert for media contact
Aboriginal Issues
Archaeology
Gender studies
Globalisation
Indigenous Australia
Internet
Museums
Terrorism
Visual arts
Aboriginal Studies
Gender Issues
Globalisation and Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Australian Archaeology
Internet
Rock art, especially in Australia and in terms of women's roles
Socially mediated terrorism
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Aboriginal Issues
  • Archaeology
  • Gender studies
  • Globalisation
  • Indigenous Australia
  • Internet
  • Museums
  • Terrorism
  • Visual arts
Interests
  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Gender Issues
  • Globalisation and Indigenous Peoples
  • Indigenous Australian Archaeology
  • Internet
  • Rock art, especially in Australia and in terms of women's roles
  • Socially mediated terrorism
Further information
The Conversation