Director of Academic Initiatives
Dr. Smith specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the second, third, and fourth centuries AD. He joined the faculty at CMU in fall 2006. In 2005–2006 he served as lecturer in the department of classics at Case Western Reserve.
- B.A. (1996) in classics and history from Case Western Reserve University, 1996
- A.M. in History from Harvard University, 1999
- Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, 2005
Trained as a western medievalist, a Byzantinist, and a historian of Roman and late antiquity, Dr. Smith specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the second, third, and fourth centuries AD. At the moment he is interested above all in ideas about the human soul, its physical composition, and its constitutional relationship to things like demons, air, smoke, breath, “spirit,” angels, and God. When not thinking and writing about very thin things he also thinks and writes about computers, problems of authorship in late antiquity and the middle ages, and how computers might help solve the problems.
He has taught a wide range of courses at Harvard, CWRU, and CMU, from ancient Greek democracy to “the Christian revolution” to all periods of medieval history. Despite his fondness for history lectures and seminars he secretly likes teaching ancient languages just as much, and sometimes more.