Laura Elizabeth Smith

Laura Elizabeth Smith

Ph.D. in Culture and Performance


Laura’s research questions whether embodying the abject through deprivileging bodily control disrupts value creation and, in doing so, opens the possibility for alternative socialities previously foreclosed on the racialized Western stage. She is particularly interested in artistic works that frame the abject viscosity of drool as a site of resistance rather than as biometric data for quantifying, surveilling and disciplining the self.

Her research draws on her dance training and work experience as a consultant providing strategic guidance and risk assessment for major international development implementers and a pharmaceutical company.

She is co-chair of the Performance Studies area at the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association and has presented research at the Dance Studies Association conference in Valletta, Malta and the PoP [Performances of the Popular] MOVES conference in London, UK.


Critical race theory, critical legal theory, contemporary psychoanalysis, theories of embodiment, bioinformatics and theories of surveillance and risk management.


M.A. in Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

B.A. in Dance and Cultural Studies, Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, New York University

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