|Born||1930 (age 89–90)|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
University of Manchester (PhD)
Early life and education
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.