Laura E. Smith

Associate Professor of Art History, Michigan State University

New Article in RCL journal, issue 57: Decolonizing Visualities

Publications / May 18, 2023

Beyond Surface Matters: Unsettling Views of a Western American Landscape Photographer Glenn Rand’s (b. 1944, USA) Nevada 1979 features a passing car on Interstate 80, an industrial site, and the Humboldt River Valley in Eureka County. This place appears through laconic title to be at once particular to a settler nation, history, and poetic imagination, as well as revelatory of no place at all. Rand’s random western road trip offered him an opportunity to raise awareness of vision through kinesthetic sensation. Amongmany of his artistic peers, a photograph’s location was an arbitrary departure point for exploring surface matters. This paper redirects the attention on the artist’s formalist concerns to investigate …..

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Lesson Plans on Immersive Technology

Publications / October 13, 2021

A revised version of my syllabus Relational Landscapes: Teaching Chaco Canyon with Immersive Technology has now been published by #DLFteach: Teaching Toolkit Volume 2, July 21, 2021. This version enhances this lesson’s accessibility for visually impaired students. Relational Landscapes: Teaching Chaco Canyon with Immersive Technology · #DLFteach ( Another syllabus I created Land and Belonging: Teaching North American Landscape Art using immersive technology at MSU’s Digital Scholarship Lab is also published in this same volume: Land and Belonging: Teaching North American Landscape Art with Immersive Technology · #DLFteach (

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Visualities 2 Review

Reviews / June 25, 2020

Really proud to be among the authors included in this anthology released in 2019. The review is also exceptional in its detail and demonstration of the author’s knowledge of the literature in the field. Congrats to Denise Cummings for her editorial excellence!

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Chaco Canyon and Immersive Technology Pedagogy

Uncategorized / January 31, 2019

In October 2018, I made a day trip to Chaco Canyon after attending the Dine Studies Conference in Tsaile, Arizona. I brought one of my department’s new 360 degree cameras in order to create images that would encourage students to understand and experience of Chaco Canyon (850-1150CE) monumental architecture as a relational landscape.  This was my first time using such a specialized camera and I’m looking forward to creating this immersive experience for my students. My trip was made possible by my Adams Academy award stipend. I have now developed, implemented, and published a lesson plan using these images. You can review and download it at: Contact me or …..

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Adams Academy Fellowship 2017-18

Uncategorized / January 19, 2019

In May of 2017, I was awarded a Walter and Pauline Adams Academy for Instructional Excellence and Innovation Fellowship. This is one of the few opportunities I’ve found for non-tenure stream faculty to receive reward and recognition for their teaching. Since fall 2009, I have developed and taught 12 original courses, including two Integrative Arts and Humanities courses and two core curriculum courses.  Most recently, I created a new Latin American Arts course (Fall 2017) and an online History of Photography course to be launched in the summer of 2018.  Last spring, I decided it was time to seek formal affirmation of my achievements. Read more under my Teaching Tab…..

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Digital Pedagogy Institute Conference, Brock University, Ontario, August 2018

Uncategorized / January 19, 2019

In August of 2018, I attended the 5th annual Digital Pedagogy Institute conference at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. I was grateful for the funding of this trip by the Walter and Pauline Adams Academy fellowship stipend awarded to me this same year. I was basically looking for more digital teaching activities and resources.  The conference did not disappoint.  While DH conference panels still tend to be heavily made up of librarians, and literature, history, or science faculty, I gathered as much information as I could and imagined methods for incorporating them in a visual studies based context.  Read more posted under my Teaching Tab…..

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Picturing Others Workshop, April 2018

Uncategorized / April 20, 2018

This past year I joined a MSU research group that brought together colleagues from Art and Art History, French and Francophone Studies, and Latin American literary and cultural studies with a common interest in photography, visual culture, literature and others arts. The MSU four-member included colleagues from the Department of Art and Art History (Candace Keller, Laura Smith) and from the Department of Romance and Classical Studies (Safoi Babana-Hampton, Rocío Quispe-Agnoli).  Our Collaborative Research Project “Picturing Others: Indigenous Photography, (Self)Portraits, Preservation and Epistemic Disobedience” was funded by the Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters. …..  Read more in my post under the Research tab.  

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