I was born in Sydney, Australia, and educated at the Australian Catholic University. I received a BA (First Class Honours) in History and subsequently moved to the United States where I completed a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Davis. I have taught in California, Hawaii, Scotland, and Ohio. I currently live with my wife and two energetic daughters in Richmond, Virginia, where I'm a professor of American history at Virginia Commonwealth University.
My research and writing focuses on the histories of Native American and African American people from the eighteenth century to the present. I am particularly interested in the rich history of the Cherokee people, Native American history in the Southeast, and environmental history. My work is devoted to narrating the past in ways that connect with issues of social justice, environmental sustainability, and racial and gender equality.
You can also find me on twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and at VCU
Coming in 2017
Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780–1940, Revised Edition is a sociohistorical tour de force that examines the entwined formation of racial theory and sexual constructs within settler colonialism in the United States and Australia from the Age of Revolution to the Great Depression. Gregory D. Smithers historicizes the dissemination and application of scientific and social-scientific ideas within the process of nation building in two countries with large Indigenous populations and shows how intellectual constructs of race and sexuality were mobilized to subdue Aboriginal peoples.
Building on the comparative settler-colonial and imperial histories that appeared after the book’s original publication, this completely revised edition includes two new chapters. In this singular contribution to the study of transnational and comparative settler colonialism, Smithers expands on recent scholarship to illuminate both the subject of the scientific study of race and sexuality and the national and interrelated histories of the United States and Australia.
“A shining example of how to do comparative and transnational history.”--American Historical Review
(Katherine Ellinghaus 2016-09-10)
“[Gregory D. Smithers] combines a very ambitious synthesis of existing scholarship with original research into primary sources. This book could have a profound impact upon scholarly thinking in relevant fields.”—Ann McGrath, author of Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia
(Ann McGrath 2016-09-10)
“A keen critique of the impossible logic of racism in two major settler societies anxious to strengthen their sense of nationhood. . . . Readers will be fully convinced of the key importance of whiteness in both these societies, and of the science that bolstered it.”—Philippa Levine, author of The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset
(Philippa Levine 2016-09-10)
Also Coming in 2017: