Andrea Smith (academic)

Andrea Smith (academic)

Andrea Lee Smith is a Cherokee intellectual, feminist, and anti-violence activist. Smith's work focuses on issues of violence against women of color and their communities, specifically Native American women. A co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, the Boarding School Healing Project, and the Chicago chapter of Women of All Red Nations, Smith centers the experiences of women of color in both her activism and her scholarship. She is currently a professor of American Culture and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.cite web
title= American Culture (University of Michigan)
url=http://141.211.177.75/ac/ac_detail/0,2416,13694_people_6743,00.html
accessdate=2007-09-15
]

Background

Smith was born in San Francisco, California and grew up in Southern California.cite web|url=http://www.umich.edu/~glblfem/en/us_e.html|title=Global Feminisms Project:Project Site: United States: Interviewees|accessdate=2008-06-24] Smith earned her bachelor's degree at Harvard University in Comparative Study of Religion, and her Masters of Divinity at the Union Theological Seminary in 1997. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=X2Xp9gFiPvcC&pg=PT197&lpg=PT197&dq=%22andrea+smith%22+%22union+theological%22&source=web&ots=l_-HbF4FwH&sig=CYEsMnwT2OFwXPw-4CVaEWgc9MY&hl=es#PPA61,M1 The Bible and the American Myth: A Symposium on the Bible and Constructions of Meaning] "Studies in American Biblical Hermeneutics" (16)] In 2002, she received her Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz.

Activism

Smith has long been active in anti-violence activism, working as a rape crisis counselor and starting the Chicago chapter of Women of All Red Nations.cite web|url=http://www.umich.edu/~glblfem/en/transcripts/us/Smith_U_E_102806.pdf|title=Interview with Maria Cotera|date=2003-06-24|accessdate=2008-06-24|publisher=University of Michigan(PDF)] Along with Nadine Naber, Smith cofounded INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence in 2000, and she plays a prominent role in its National Planning Committee. [cite web
title= National Planning Committee
publisher=INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
url=http://www.incite-national.org/about/committee.html
accessdate=2007-09-15
] cite web
title= INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence: An Interview with co-founders Nadine Naber and Andrea Smith
publisher= Critical Moment
issue= 22
url=http://criticalmoment.org/issue22/sussman
accessdate=2007-09-17
] INCITE! is a national grassroots organization that engages in direct action and critical dialogue to end violence against women of color and their communities.cite web
title=Andrea Smith
url=http://www.southendpress.org/authors/258
publisher=South End Press
accessdate=2007-09-17
] Smith was also a founding member of the Boarding School Healing Project (BSHP). [cite web |url=http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/printer_1431.shtml |title=Native Americans to demand compensation |publisher=Final Call News |author=Marty Logan |date=2004-05-24 |accessdate=2007-11-18] According to its website, the BSHP "seeks to document Native boarding school abuses so that Native communities can begin healing from boarding school abuses and demand justice." [cite web |url=http://www.boardingschoolhealingproject.org/ |title=Boarding School Healing Project|publisher=Boarding School Healing Project |accessdate=2007-11-18] Smith has worked with Amnesty International as a Bunche Fellow, coordinating the research project on sexual violence and American Indian women, [cite web |url=http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/agm/agm2003/diversity.html |title="Annual General Meeting 2003 |publisher=Amnesty International USA |accessdate=2007-11-18] and she represented the Indigenous Women's Network and the American Indian Law Alliance at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in 1991. In 2005, Smith was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize "as a woman who works daily for peace" in recognition of her research and work regarding violence against women of color in the US.cite web
url=http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/margins-to-centre/2005-September/000642.html
title=U-M professor among those nominated for Nobel
author=Catherine O'Donnell
date=2005-09-08
publisher=mlive.com
accessdate=2008-03-21
] Smith's "Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide" won the 2005 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award. [cite web |url=http://www.myerscenter.org/pages/05winners.htm |title=2005 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award Winners| publisher=Gustavus Myers Center| accessdate=2007-11-18]

Tenure controversy

On February 22, 2008, Smith received a negative tenure recommendation from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan.cite web
title= Statement of University of Michigan Students and Faculty in Support of Andrea Smith's Tenure Case
url= http://voicingindigeneity.blogspot.com/2008/02/tenure-for-andrea-smith.html
date=2008-02-27
accessdate= 2008-04-27
] This decision has attracted "an unusual degree of attention from scholars, both at Ann Arbor and nationally"cite web
title=Concern Over Michigan Tenure Case
url=http://insidehighered.com/news/2008/03/10/smith
author=Scott Jaschik
accessdate=2008-03-16
date=2008-03-10
publisher=Inside Higher Ed
] and prompted some observers to conclude "the University's tenure evaluation process discriminates against women of color and interdisciplinary professors."cite web| title=More than 30 faculty, students sent letter to LSA dean alleging pattern of discrimination |url=http://media.www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2008/03/06/Academics/More-Than.30.Faculty.Students.Sent.Letter.To.Lsa.Dean.Alleging.Pattern.Of.Discri-3255626.shtml |author= Elizabeth Lai |date=2008-03-06 |publisher=The Michigan Daily |accessdate=2008-04-27]

A statement issued by an anonymous group of students and faculty from the University of Michigan protesting the decision immediately began circulating via email and among feminist blogs. cite web
title=Protests Heat Up at Michigan Over Tenure Case of Expert in Native American Studies
url=http://chronicle.com/news/article/4067/protests-heat-up-at-michigan-over-tenure-case-of-expert-in-native-american-studies
author=Robin Wilson
date=2008-02-29
accessdate=2008-03-16
publisher=The Chronicle of Higher Education
] The statement refers to Smith as "one of the greatest indigenous feminist intellectuals of our time" and highlights Smith's relevance as both a scholar and social justice advocate, noting that as "a result of her work, scholars, social service providers, and community-based organizations throughout the United States have shifted from state-focused efforts to more systemic approaches for addressing violence against women." A Facebook group in support of Smith's tenure bidcite web
title= Support Tenure for Andrea Smith!
accessdate=2008-03-16
url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8352609419
] and online petition to University of Michigan provost Teresa Sullivan soon followed.

elected publications

Smith is the author of the following books:
*"Sacred Sites, Sacred Rites" (1998) ISBN B0006R030E
*"Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide" (2005) ISBN 978-0896087439
*"Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances" (2008) ISBN 978-0822341635

Smith edited and/or co-edited the following anthologies:
*"The Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology" (2006) ISBN 978-0896087620
*"The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex" (2007) ISBN 978-0896087668

References

External links

* [http://incite-national.org/ INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence]
* [http://www.boardingschoolhealingproject.org/ Boarding School Healing Project]
* [http://www.amnestyusa.org/amnestynow/soulwound.html "Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools"] by Andrea Smith


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