Smith, Jeremy Associate Professor

Position: Associate Professor, Sociology and Research Advisor
Study area: Humanities and Social Sciences
Location: Mt Helen Campus, Room H240
Phone: 5327 9633
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2204-1594


  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Melbourne - 1996
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours (Sociology) - Monash University - 1989



  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours)


  • The Sociological Imagination (SOSCI1002)
  • Examining Race and Ethnicity (BASOC2001/3001)
  • Ideologies in the Modern World (BADXC1003)
  • Literature Review (BAHRS4035)


Jeremy Smith has a BA (Honours) from Monash University and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. After graduating from the undergraduate level with a double major in Sociology and Spanish, he completed postgraduate research on long-term processes of state formation and the development of capitalism in Europe. Jeremy has been teaching Sociology in the School of Arts and predecessors since 1996. Currently, he serves as Research Advisor. He has been Deputy Head of School (Learning and Teaching) from 2007-11, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching from 2011-2014 in the Faculty of Education and Arts, Deputy Head of School between 2016 and 2018 and Associate Dean Research (2019-2022).

Areas of expertise

I am a researcher in historical sociology, social theory, and the multidisciplinary fields of civilizational analysis and social imaginaries. My core research has two aims:

  1. To investigate the historical development of states, capitalism, cities, and inter-civilizational engagement over very periods long time, both in terms of institutional patterns and their social imaginaries
  2. To promote awareness of the impact of historical patterns of states, capitalism, cities, and inter-civilizational engagement on contemporary societies.

Being equally at home in sociology and social theory, my research practice has three focal points:

Research Focus: Historical sociology

My PhD on colonialism in the Americas focussed on the development of the British and Spanish Empires in the first three centuries of ‘Atlantic modernity’ and the patterns of state formation that led to the republican revolutions in the late eighteenth century-early nineteenth century. I continued this research in my first major book Europe and the Americas: State Formation, Capitalism and Civilizations in Atlantic Modernity, (Brill, 2006). Developing my signature concept of ‘inter-civilizational engagement’ further in my second book, Debating Civilizations: Interrogating Civilizational Analysis in a Global Age (Manchester University Press, 2017), I examined many kinds of intersection of civilizations in different world regions from the most violent and asymmetrical to the most mutually formative. With a more refined conception of inter-civilizational engagement, I returned to research on states, capitalism, and cities in the Americas to examine the institutional patterns and imaginaries of societies right through the Western hemisphere from Canada to Chile and Argentina. My third monograph, American Imaginaries: Nations, Societies and Capitalism in the Many Americas (Rowman & Littlefield (2023) contains the findings of my research on the nineteenth and twentieth century Americas. As a second world region to examine inter-civilizational engagement in, I have researched historical sociological perspective on Japan’s place in East Asia and relationship with the US during the twentieth century.

Research Focus: Social theory

In my second focus area, I am sought close collaboration with researchers in Europe and North America. I have explored theoretical innovations in the multidisciplinary fields of social imaginaries and civilizational analysis through four co-edited books (with Routledge, Rowman & Littlefield, and Brill). My objective in each collection, along with my co-editors, has been the promotion of dialogue and exchange between scholars in social theory around key problems, from the sources of contemporary politics to the state of modernity today. I have pursued similar questions in essays and journal article as well as through another project, the International Journal of Social Imaginaries (Brill), of which I am joint Managing Editor.

Research Focus: Contexts of Learning

As part of research teams, I have engaged in primary research in different educational settings, including the Ballarat Clemente program, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Pizzicato Effect program in the City of Hume and in cross-university research collaborations. The research results have been published in journals including the Australian Journal of Adult Learning and Australian Educational Researcher. I have contributed specialist knowledge in social theory and skills in qualitative research to these collaborative projects.


Recent completions

Jenny Beacham History of the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council 1854-2010 (2023)

Dinesha Fernando Human Rights For and By the People? Securing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) in a post-conflict/post-war situation (2023)

Present doctoral students.

Cameron Coventry A Social History of Early Australian Keynesianism: The Keynes Plan, Child Endowment & Full Employment Reconstruction

Matthew Box Terrorism and Border Security: the Moral Panic of the Twenty-first Century in Australia

Lesley Cooper Understanding the role of Transformative Learning in Empowering Students who Experience Family or Interpersonal Violence

Matthew Frith The American School of Economic Thought: An Intellectual History

Viktor Jakupec Foreign Aid: Challenging the Neoliberal Agenda in a Populist Era with a focus on Political Economy Analysis

Matthew Thorley Beyond Limit Events: An Analysis of Civilisation and the Sea



L. Dunaj, K Mertel and JCA Smith (eds) Civilization, Modernity, and Critique: Engaging Johann P. Arnason’s Macro-Social Theory, London: Routledge (2023)

American Imaginaries: Nations, Societies and Capitalism in the Many Americas London: Rowman & Littlefield (forthcoming)

S Adams and J Smith, Debating Imaginal Politics London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-78661-503-9

S. Adam and J Smith (eds) Social Imaginaries: Critical Interventions in a Paradigm in the Making. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019

Debating Civilizations: Interrogating Civilizational Analysis in a Global Age. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017

Europe and the Americas: State Formation, Capitalism and Civilizations in Atlantic Modernity, with a preface by S N Eisenstadt, Leiden: Brill, 2006

Rundell, J, Petherbridge, D, Bryant, J, Hewitt, J, and Smith, J (eds,) Contemporary Perspectives in Social and Critical Philosophy, Leiden: Brill, 2004

A Mills and J Smith (eds.) Utter Silence: Voicing the Unspeakable, New York: Peter Lang, 2001

Book chapters

Smith, Jeremy ‘Regionality and Civilizations in the Americas: Considerations on Civilizational Analysis in the Context of American Modernities’ in Dunaj, K Mertel and JCA Smith (eds) Civilization, Modernity, and Critique: Engaging Johann P. Arnason’s Macro-Social Theory, London: Routledge, 2023

Smith, Jeremy C A ‘Civilizations in History and Myth: Considerations on the Imaginary and the Imaginal’ in S. Adam and J Smith (eds) Debating Imaginal Politics: Dialogues with Chiara Bottici. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021

Smith, Jeremy ‘History, Civilizations, Imaginaries’ in S. Adam and J Smith (eds) Social Imaginaries: Critical Interventions in a Paradigm in the Making. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019

Smith, Jeremy, "Contexts of Capitalism: from the 'unlimited extension of 'rational mastery' to Civilizational Varieties of Accumulation and Economic Imagination" in V. Karalis Cornelius Castoriadis and Radical Democracy. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

Smith, Jeremy 'Capitalism' in S. Adams (ed) Castoriadis: Key Concepts. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Smith, Jeremy "Atlantic Capitalism, American Economic Cultures" in S. Arjomand Social Theory and Regional Studies in the Global Age. New York: SUNY Press, 2014.

Refereed journal articles

Robyn Brandenburg, Jerry Courvisanos, Angela Higgins, and Jeremy CA Smith ‘“Breaking out”: The genesis, development, and implementation of an interdisciplinary university’ Australian Educational Researcher, Volume 49, 3, 2022: 489-510

Smith, Jeremy ‘Encounters and Engagement in the Civilizational Analysis of Japan’ Historicka Sociologie/Historical Sociology Journal, Issue 2, 2021: 31-46, DOI: 10.14712/23363525.2021.16

Smith, Jeremy ‘Southern lights: Metropolitan imaginaries in Latin America’ Thesis Eleven, Vol. 166(1) 118–135, 2021, DOI: 10.1177/07255136211043923

Smith, Jeremy ‘In and Out of Place: Civilizational Interaction and the Making of Australia in Oceania and Asia’ Comparative Civilizations Review, 80, 2019.

Smith, Jeremy ‘North America’s Metropolitan Imaginaries’ Social Imaginaries 4, 2: 43-60, 2018.

Smith, Jeremy ‘Grounds for Engagement: Dissonances and Overlaps at the Intersection of Contemporary Civilizations Analysis and Postcolonial Sociology’, Current Sociology, 63(4): 566-585, 2015.

Adams, S. Blokker, P. Doyle, N. J. Krummel, J.W.M and Smith, J. ‘Social Imaginaries in Debate’ Social Imaginaries 1.1: 15-52, 2015.

Smith, Jeremy ‘Grounds for Engagement: Dissonances and Overlaps at the Intersection of Contemporary Civilizations Analysis and Postcolonial Sociology’, Current Sociology, 63(4): 566-585, 2015.

Smith, Jeremy '''…diversity within unity': Sovereignty, Recognition and Ecology in Indigenous Interpretations of Modernity' Asian Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 27 No. 1: 65-87, 2014.

Gervasoni, Ann. Smith, Jeremy. & Howard, Peter. 'Humanities Education as a Pathway for Women in Regional and Rural Australia: Clemente Ballarat', Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 2013.

Adams, Suzi, Smith, Jeremy and Straume, Ingerid S. 'Political Imaginaries in Question' Critical Horizons, 13.1: 5-11, 2012. Guest editor for Issue 13.1.

Smith, Jeremy 'Revolutionary Doctrines and Political Imaginaries: American Modernities in the Republican Age, Critical Horizons, 13.1: 52-73, 2012.

Smith, Jeremy 'Modernity and civilization in Johann Arnason's social theory of Japan' European Journal of Social Theory, 14(1), 2011: 41-54

Smith, Jeremy 'The Many Americas: Civilization and Modernity in the Atlantic World' European Journal of Social Theory, 13, 1, 2010 (special issue 'Civilizational Analysis: Themes and Problems')

Smith, Jeremy 'Civilisational analysis and intercultural models of American societies', Journal of Intercultural Studies, 30, 3: 233-248, 2009.

Smith, Jeremy 'Outside and against the Quincentenary: Modern Indigenous Representations at the time of the Colombian Celebrations' Atlantic Studies, 6:1 2009

Mills, Alice and Smith, Jeremy 'How to be Happy by Calling for Change: Constructs of Happiness and Meaningfulness Amongst Social Movement Activists.' The Qualitative Report Vol 13, No 3, September 2008: 432-455

Mills, Alice and Smith, Jeremy, 'Strategies of social activists: an NLP interpretation ' in Borderlands, volume 6 number 1, 2007

Smith, Jeremy 'Civilizational Sociology and Perspectives on the Atlantic', Atlantic Studies, Volume 2, Number 2 2005

Refereed conference proceedings

Gervasoni, Ann, Smith Jeremy and Howard, Peter 'The Ballarat Clemente Program: A doorway to the treasures of humanities education for we "who struggle a little get us back out there into life, and, to see some sort of future." AARE International Education Research Conference, November 11-29 2010, Melbourne

Smith, Jeremy 'Towards a Reflexive Historical Sociology of Japanese Modernity', Coloniality, Postcoloniality and Modernity in Japan, Refereed Papers of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia 10th Biennial Conference, Monash Asia Institute: Melbourne, 2000

Seminar presentations

Multiple co-authors, 'Partnerships in participatory knowledge pathways: Introducing Clemente in Gippsland' Self Determination as Functional ReformALARA Conference 2014, 7 - 9 November 2014

Smith, Jeremy 'The Emergence of Sociology in an Interdisciplinary Context - Nothing but Success?', ISA World Congress, Yokohama, 2014.

Smith, Jeremy 'Civilizational Discourse and Models of Modernity in the Meiji Revolution', Paper for 'Modernizing Moves in the 'Non-Western' World: Historical and Comparative Analyses', ISA World Congress, Yokohama, 2014.

Smith, Jeremy 'At the Interstices of Postcolonialism and Contemporary Civilizations Analysis',Paper to TASA (The Australian Sociological Association Conference), 25 - 28 November 2013

Smith, Jeremy 'Images of modernity in Latin America after colonialism' The 40th IIS World Congress, Delhi, 16-19 February, 2012

Smith, Jeremy 'Castoriadis, capitalism, American economic cultures' Third Annual Conference of Cornelius Castoriadis in the Antipodes, Thursday & Friday November 25/26, 2010, The University of Melbourne.

Smith, Jeremy "Atlantic Capitalism, American Economic Cultures", International Sociological Association XVIII World Congress is Sociology on the Move, Gothenburg Sweden, July 11-17, 2010.


  • Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
  • International Sociological Association (ISA)
  • International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (ISSC)