About Our Dean of Faculty


Shawn Michelle Smith

Shawn Michelle Smith is Interim Dean of Faculty.

A truly interdisciplinary scholar, Shawn Michelle Smith is a writer, artist, and curator who studies the history and theory of photography through the lenses of race and gender. She joined the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Visual and Critical Studies in 2006. Smith has published seven books, including Photographic Returns: Racial Justice and the Time of Photography (2020), and contributed to many publications, including the Journal of Visual Culture, American Art, Aperture, African American Review, Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, and the Yale Journal of Criticism. Smith has received the Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians for best book in American cultural history, as well as the Jean Goldman Book Prize, and has been awarded fellowships from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others. Additionally, her photo-based artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States. She currently serves on the editorial boards of American Art, Journal of Visual Culture, and Photography and Culture, and has previously held faculty positions at Saint Louis University, where she taught American studies, and Washington State University, where she taught English.

SAIC is pleased to welcome new full-time faculty members and visiting artists