Lauren Smyth is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on Muslim physical and digital spaces and community belonging in the United States.
Lauren has an interest in space—physical, digital, and interpersonal. Her dissertation centers the experiences and emotions of Muslim Americans by examining how their spaces are developed to work for their communities as places to belong. She is particularly interested in digital spaces and digital humanities as a nexus of interpersonal interaction, (in)accessibility, and knowledge generation, and seeks to examine why supposedly open digital spaces are often made unusable for the very people they seek to help. In addition to her dissertation fieldwork, she has conducted research in northwest India, where Muslim organizations have begun the long, often difficult process of developing public heritage spaces oriented at both tourist outsiders and local communities.