Meet Chris

chris bowtie bw

Christopher Smit PhD (University of Iowa) has spent his career writing, lecturing, and teaching about the curious and compelling relationship between media, art, and the body. Beginning with his first book, Screening Disability, an edited collection of essays about cinema and disability, Smit has shown a deep interest in the ways that we imagine and represent people with physical and cognitive differences. This interest in cultural representation has taken him into popular culture venues, in particular into the lives of pop stars like Britney Spears (The Exile of Britney Spears: A Tale of 21st Century Consumption) and Michael Jackson (Michael Jackson: Chasing the Spectacle): both celebrities found their different bodies/minds at the center of their careers, a phenomenon Smit argues is becoming normalized in 21st century American culture. His essays on disability, art, popular culture, new media, and cultural spectacle can be seen in a wide variety of academic and popular journals,online, and in many collected works. Smit is also the Executive Director of DisArt, an arts and culture organization committed to changing perceptions about disability one piece of art at a time. DisArt produces the biennial DisArt Festival, DisArt Symposium, and a variety of mind-changing events in the world of contemporary art. Smit lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he is an associate professor of Media Studies at Calvin College. He lives there with his wife and son and is an active member of the disabled culture in his town. Smit is a Disabled person.

  iTunes link