Dr. Christopher Smith

Dr. Christopher Smith

Assistant Professor

School of Social Work

St. John's College,
Room: J-2009A
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL, Canada, A1C 5S7

Phone: (709) 864-7701 (office) or
(709) 341-7709 (mobile)
Email:  csmith13@mun.ca or  cbrs1977@gmail.com

Over and above his personal academic research, Dr. Christopher B.R. Smith has engaged in extensive professional research consulting endeavours relating to ‘mental health’ and ‘addiction’ policy and practice at the municipal, provincial and federal levels in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. In the Canadian context, Christopher has served in the capacity of co-investigator for both the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Site Needs Assessment project (TOSCA), and the Toronto Public Health Safer Crack Use Kit Programme Evaluation, as well as acting as a member of the research advisory group for the most recent iteration of the Ontario Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) Program Standards and Clinical Guidelines, led by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).

As an inherently interdisciplinary academic, Christopher has worked as a full-time (sessional) Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies program at York University (Toronto, Canada), a tenure-track, ‘research active’ Lecturer in Sociology at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia), and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship under the supervision of internationally renowned medical anthropologist Dr. Philippe Bourgois at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, U.S.A.), sponsored by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). After returning to Canada due to an illness in the family, Christopher serendipitously found himself as a tenure-track assistant professor in Memorial University’s School of Social Work.

Having published articles in a number of international, peer-reviewed academic journals, Christopher recently published his first sole-authored book manuscript as part of the Routledge Advances in Sociology series. Entitled Addiction, Modernity and the City: A Users’ Guide to Urban Space, the book was formally published in January 2016, and can be found on both Amazon and Google Books. Shortly after starting his contract at Memorial in November 2014, Christopher subsequently secured a second book contract. Co-edited with Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Fellow Zack Marshall (Doctoral Candidate, Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University) this collection of essays is entitled Critical Approaches to Harm Reduction: Conflict, Institutionalization, (De-)Politicization, and Direct Action. Christopher’s contribution to this book took the form of both editing the manuscript, writing the preface, as well as contributing the final chapter to the book, entitled Harm Reduction Hipsters: Socio-Spatial-Political Displacement and the Gentrification of Public Health.

More recently, Christopher has delivered an invited lecture to Newfoundland and Labrador’s All-Party Committee (APC) on Mental Health and Addictions regarding a comparative analysis of opioid dependency treatment policy and practice in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. Owing to this invited lecture, Christopher has subsequently become involved as a member of the Provincial Opioid Dependency Treatment (ODT) Working Group, and received an additional invitation to meet directly with Hon. Dr. John Haggie, the Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Health. Christopher’s most recent research initiative consists of a Needs Assessment among People who Inject Illicit Drugs in the greater St. John’s region that is being conducted in partnership with (1) the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador (ACNL), (2) the regional health authority (Eastern Health), and (3) the provincial Department of Health and Community Services, along with more than half a dozen grassroots, community-based agencies, including the Safe Harbour Community Outreach Program (SHOP), the first and only social support service in the province explicitly focussed on meeting the needs of people involved in the sex trade. Composed of a research team consisting of faculty and senior graduate students from the (inter)disciplines of Social Work, Medicine, Nursing, and elsewhere, this project is rooted in Memorial’s emphasis on ‘Public Engagement’ and Christopher’s personal convictions regarding action-oriented, community-based research, and is particularly indebted to the large number of community partners that will eventually serve as recruitment, interview and data collection sites.

Christopher is eager to amass more experience in a supervisory capacity, so please feel free to contact him if you are looking for a supervisor related to the fields of mental health or more specifically substance use, dependency, service user organizing/activism, and the biopolitics of ‘addiction’ treatment.

For further information regarding Dr. Smith’s academic profile and access to his various academic and professional publications, please see his cv.

Recent publications:

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. That is being taught how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the 'rat race' – the constant, gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing..." (Wallace, D.F. [2009]. This is Water [pp.120-123]. New York: Little, Brown and Company.)


School of Social Work

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000