Audrey Smedley

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Professor Emeritus

Audrey Smedley
Born1930 (age 89–90)
Detroit, Michigan
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
University of Manchester (PhD)

Audrey Smedley (born 1930) is an American social anthropologist and Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University in anthropology and African-American studies.

Early life and education[edit]

Smedley received her B.A. and M.A. in history and anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester in the UK, based on field research in northern Nigeria. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in social anthropology, African societies and cultures, the history of anthropology, and anthropological theory.


Smedley has written on the history of anthropology and the origin and evolution of the idea of human races since the late 1970s. Her research interests also include comparative slavery, human ecological adaptation, and the roles of women in patrilineal societies.

External links[edit]

  • Faculty page
  • PBS interview for the program "Race: the Power of an Illusion".
  • Audrey Smedley (2007). "Welcome to Encyclopædia Britannica's Guide to Black History". race. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  • Works by or about Audrey Smedley in libraries (WorldCat catalog)