Christopher Holmes Smith

Christopher Holmes Smith

Christopher H. Smith is a Clinical Professor in the School of Communication at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism where he also jointly runs the Media, Economics, and Entrepreneurship program.

The goal of M{2e} is to provide insight and conduct actionable discussion about evolving business models for communication and journalism. As co-director of the program, Smith has successfully led a department-wide effort to make economic literacy and entrepreneurial acumen a cornerstone of the USC Annenberg experience. During the course of his work with M{2e}, Smith also founded the Women’s Leadership Society, the first professional development organization of its kind at the school.

Smith teaches poststructuralist theory, cultural studies methods, and media industry studies. His research uses the tools of critical theory and cultural studies to describe and analyze the relationship between economic forces and social formations.

His primary areas of interest and expertise include:

  • television & online video
  • media & technology
  • innovation & entrepreneurship
  • financialization, neoliberalism, and inequality
  • history of capitalism & capitalist philosophy
  • corporate communication

Smith’s current research agenda regards:

  • corporate culture and organizational communication in the financial services industry
  • the creation, distribution, interpretation, and regulation of information in the capital markets
  • the impact of automation on (i) the collection and dissemination of financial information and (ii) the formation of economic citizenship
  • the representation of money and financial capitalism in popular culture

He has also taught seminars in the following areas:

  • entertainment and celebrity
  • witnessing & trauma
  • race, ethnicity and gender in media

Smith’s scholarship and commentary have been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Social Text and the International Journal of Communication. He has been a featured commentator for a number of large media outlets — including FOX’s American Idol, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, KTLA-TV, NPR, the BBC, CBC-Radio Canada, Reuters, Yle Uutiset (Finland), and TV4 Sweden — and he has also written feature stories on the business of entertainment for mainstream publications and digital outlets such as The Washington Post, AOL, Elle, Interview, and BlackEnterprise.com. He has consulted on market selection and execution for both start-ups and multinational entertainment groups.

Before joining the faculty at USC Annenberg, Smith served as the director of Primary Research for Ruder Finn Public Relations in New York City.

Smith earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in media and cultural studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Contact Smith at christhs@usc.edu.