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Profile Detail

Sarah L. Smiley

Associate Professor

My research interests lie at the intersections of urban, historical, and cultural geography.  I use multiple qualitative methods including surveys, interviews, participant observation, mental mapping, and archival research.  I am specifically interested in the ways that colonial legacies of segregation, housing and development policy, and amenity provision affect everyday life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  My current research analyzes what access to water really means.  In particular I explore how the price and reliability of water along with the the physical act of walking to collect water impact life.  I am based at the Salem Campus where I teach a variety of Kent Core and Diversity Courses, and I also teach graduate courses on African Cities and Qualitative Methods on the Kent Campus.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Kusek, W. and S. Smiley. Forthcoming 2014. Navigating the City: Gender and Positionality in Cultural Geography Research.  Journal of Cultural Geography.

Smiley, S. and C. Post. Forthcoming 2014. Using Popular Music to teach the Geography of the United States and Canada. Journal of Geography.

Smiley, S. 2013. Researching Housing, Water, and Sanitation in the British and Tanzania National Archives. History in Africa 40, 1: 353-364.

Smiley, S. 2013. Complexities of Water Access in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Applied Geography 41: 132-138.

Smiley, S.  2013. Mental Maps, Segregation, and Everyday Life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Journal of Cultural Geography 30, 2: 215-244.

Smiley, S. 2013. Observations on Aging and Eldercare in Japan.  Journal of Aging in Emerging Economies 4, 1: 35-59.

Smiley, S. 2012. Population Censuses and Changes in Housing Quality in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. African Geographical Review 31, 1: 1-16.

Smiley, S. 2010. Expatriate Everyday Life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Colonial Origins and Contemporary Legacies. Social and Cultural Geography 11, 4: 327–342. 

Smiley, S. 2010. Exclusionary Space in Dar es Salaam: Fear and Difference in Expatriate Communities. Africa Today 56, 3: 24–40. 

Smiley, S. and F. Koti. 2010. Introduction to Special Issue: Africa's Spaces of Exclusion. Africa Today 56, 3: v–ix.    

Smiley, S. 2009. The City of Three Colors: Segregation in Colonial Dar es Salaam, 1891-1961. Historical Geography 37: 178-196.  

Smiley, S. 2009. Teaching Africa's Cities through Meja Mwangi's Novels. Journal of Geography 108, 4: 219-225.  

Smiley, S. 2009.  Fear in Dar es Salaam. Agora 4: 27-30. (Published in Dutch as Angst in Dar es Salaam).  

Smiley, S. 2006.  Historical Geography Research at the Tanzania National Archives. African Geographical Review 25: 107-116. 

Research Areas
  • Urban Geography
  • Cultural Geography
  • Historical Geography
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Association of American Geographers

Africa Specialty Group (AAG)

Cultural Geography Specialty Group (AAG)

Historical Geography Specialty Group (AAG)

Sarah L. Smiley
Department of Geography
Phone: 330-332-0361
Fax: 330-337-4122