Dr Richard G. Smith is Reader/Associate Professor in Human Geography at Swansea University, UK. He is the Editor of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, and has published many articles, special journal issues, and several books on Baudrillard: Jean Baudrillard: Fatal Theories (2009), The Baudrillard Dictionary (2010), Jean Baudrillard: From Hyperreality to Disappearance, Uncollected Interviews (2015), and Jean Baudrillard: the Disappearance of Culture, Uncollected Interviews (2017). He co-organized the first and second major international and interdisciplinary UK conferences on Baudrillard in 2006 and 2018, and was interviewed about Jean Baudrillard for a South Korean TV documentary. He is currently completing a number of books on Baudrillard, including: Jean Baudrillard: The Missing Pieces, Uncollected Writings and Photographs (Edinburgh University Press), Jean Baudrillard: Untranslated German Interviews (Seagull Books) [3 volumes], Jean Baudrillard: Untranslated French Interviews (Seagull Books) [3 volumes]. In Urban Studies he has pioneered new poststructuralist network and assemblage approaches and his research on world cities has been reported on extensively in the world’s print media, is among the most highly-cited and reprinted in the world, and has recently been translated into Chinese. His research on world cities has been so influential it even features in the AS/A Level Geography school syllabus. In 2017 he was an invited TEDx speaker on ‘London After Brexit’ at the major annual TED event in London, and in 2018 he was the keynote speaker at the 12th Luxury Real Estate Association Conference in London.


Dr Richard G. Smith BA (Hons), PhD, FRGS

My Swansea University Staff Page

Tweeting here

Email: r.g.smith@swan.ac.uk

Postal Address: Dr Richard G. Smith, Department of Geography, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA28PP, UK.


Theorist at work (literally)

Biography/Research Interests

I am a philosopher and urbanist. Educated at Lawrence Sheriff School (Rugby, Warwickshire), University of Hull (BA Hons, 1st) and University of Bristol (PhD). My doctorate on the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard was supervised by the non-representational theorist Professor Sir Nigel Thrift – see my critical tribute here. I was awarded the first Phyllis Mary Morris Scholarship from the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol.

I have extensive international knowledge and experience. I have visited more than 100 countries worldwide, and have presented my research at more than 50 international conferences, universities, and public events.

My research concerns poststructuralist philosophy:

First, in Baudrillard Studies as Editor of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, author of numerous articles, and editor of Jean Baudrillard: Fatal Theories (Routledge, 2009), The Baudrillard Dictionary (Edinburgh University Press, 2010), ‘Baudrillard Redux’ (Special Issue of Cultural Politics, 2011), Jean Baudrillard: from Hyperreality to Disappearance: Uncollected Interviews (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), Jean Baudrillard: the Disappearance of Culture: Uncollected Interviews (Edinburgh University Press, 2017). I organized the first major international and interdisciplinary UK conference on Baudrillard’s work in 2006, was interviewed about Baudrillard for South Korean TV, and am currently organizing the second major UK conference (Oxford, 2018). Current research is focused, among other things, on completing nine books: Smith RG ed. (2019) Jean Baudrillard: The Missing Pieces, Uncollected Writings and Photographs (Edinburgh University Press); Smith RG & Turner C eds. (2020 onwards) Jean Baudrillard: Untranslated German Interviews (Seagull Books) [3 volumes]; Smith RG & Turner C eds. (2020 onwards) Jean Baudrillard: Untranslated French Interviews (Seagull Books) [3 volumes].

Second, in Urban Studies, with research focusing on poststructuralism, assemblage theory, and actor-network theory. My broad expertise in poststructuralist theory has enabled me to recast the conceptual apparatus and empirical approach of urban studies to effectively critique and overturn the neo-Marxist world city, global city, and interlocking world city network concepts (and the error of the ordinary cities notion) to understand cities not only as connected, but as always striving to prohibit and disguise their unbinding and destabilization as networked assemblages: e.g. see ‘World city actor-networks’ (2003) and ‘World city topologies’ (2003) in Progress in Human Geography; ‘Beyond the global city concept and the myth of “command and control”‘ (2014) and ‘Questioning the theoretical basis of current global city research: structures, networks, and actor-networks’ (2011) in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; ‘The ordinary city trap’ in Environment and Planning A (2013);  etc. My latest research is concerned with introducing, explaining, developing, and inventing an approach to Urban Studies that is founded on the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard. See, for example, my entry on ‘Jean Baudrillard’ for The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies (2017). My research on world cities features in the AS / A Level Geography syllabus, has been translated into Chinese, and is featured in my TED talk.

Third, in Photography. My interest is not only in the practice of photography per se, but in photography as a theoretical practice. My photography concerns a metaphysical problem: the verification of reality. A focus on the absence of the real which defines my current writing/curation of a book/exhibition entitled ‘Apophatic Urban Photography’.


A list of my 100+ publications (published or in press; not those in preparation – i.e. invited, under contract, under translation, or in draft for intended submission to a journal etc.) is available through my Swansea University Staff Page.

My research has been reported on extensively in the world’s print media (in >25 newspapers and magazines), and my journal papers are among the most highly-cited and reprinted in the world – a few examples: on ISI web of science my Cities (1999) paper – ‘A Roster of World Cities’ – has 414 citations; my Annals of the Association of American Geographers (2000) paper – ‘World city network: a new meta-geography’ – has 230 citations; one of my Progress in Human Geography (2003) papers – ‘World city actor-networks’ – has 87 citations and is noted as one of the fifty most frequently cited. My research is reprinted in no fewer than 9 edited collections, and has been translated into Chinese.

You can access my publications via the original sources; some are also available through ‘Cronfa’ (Swansea University’s Research Repository), and, through other on-line portals:

Amazon Author Page / Edinburgh University Press / Routledge / Seagull Books / Academia.edu / ORCID / ResearchGate / Google Scholar / ResearcherID / Scopus / LinkedIN / Google+