Chase Smith is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English. His Ph.D. is in Literature from UC San Diego, with a concentration in cultural studies. His current book project, B-sides of Modernity: Popular Sights and Sounds of Hawaii, 1890s-1970s, investigates representations of Hawaii in middlebrow media in relation to American modernity, from the U.S. annexation of Hawaii through ongoing forms of colonial control in the mid-twentieth century. The book charts Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian figures whose live performances, music, literature and film reinforce and also depart from the modern nation-state’s geopolitical borders and its narratives of expansion.
Prof. Smith’s broader research and teaching interests include post-nationalist critiques of U.S. imperialism; popular culture; theories of modernity; postcolonial theory; critical studies of race, gender and sexuality; U.S. multiethnic literature; and the borderlands of the American West and Pacific. In the Winter and Spring 2014, he will be teaching postcolonial literature courses in the UCLA English Department.