T'ai Smith received her MA and PhD from the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester and her BA in Visual Arts/Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University. In addition to her teaching and advising role in the department, she is a member of the Media Studies working group at UBC.
The recipient of several awards and grants, including the American Craft Council Emerging Scholar Award (2015), she has been a Wall Scholar in residence at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies at UBC (2014-15) and a Senior Fellow at IKKM (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturktechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie) in Weimar, Germany (Summer 2014).
Concerned with the politics of mediation, gender, labor, and economy, Smith’s research, teaching, and advising focus on the areas of modern and contemporary European and American art and design, visual studies, critical theory, media theory and cultural techniques.
Author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), Smith's articles have appeared in Art Journal, Art Practical, Grey Room, Journal of Modern Craft, Texte zur Kunst, and Zeitschrift für Medien - und Kulturforschung. She has written essay chapters for several scholarly volumes and also for catalogues published by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Generali Foundation in Vienna, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Pace London, and Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst und Medien in Graz, Austria. She regularly gives lectures and talks throughout Europe and North America.
At UBC, Smith has offered seminars on “Methods and Approaches in Art History,” “Medium Specificity,” “Visual and Digital Media Theory,” and “Textile Media and Philosophy.” Before coming to UBC she had given seminars on “Authorship, Anonymity, Collectivity,” “The Bauhaus,” and “Design Theory.” In the fall of 2016 she will offer a graduate seminar on “Cultural Techniques and Political Economies: From Dressing to Branding. She will also host Professor Dr. Bernhard Siegert (Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany) as an International Visiting Research Scholar through PWIAS.
Smith is currently drafting a second book manuscript, Frock Coats and Capital: The Fashion Economy Before and After Marx (working title), which will examine the logic of the readymade and the network of practices and ideas she calls “fashion capitalism” within art, literature, and philosophy since the mid-19th century. More recently, she has begun developing a cross-temporal project with students on modes of dressing and branding in modern and contemporary art.
Selected publications can be found at: https://ubc.academia.edu/TaiSmith