Sidonie Smith’s latest solo-authored book is Manifesto for the Humanities: Transforming Doctoral Education in “Good Enough” Times (University of Michigan Press, 2015). It is available in an open access version at the website of the University of Michigan Press.

From Manifesto for the Humanities: “Anxieties about the vitality of the humanities within higher education run high. So, too, do anxieties about the evolving conditions of our work as academic humanists. For some, talk of change, with its rhetoric of urgency, becomes a trigger for holding fast to certain understandings of the life of the academic humanist. For others, it is a conundrum and a headache. I see it as an occasion to think purposefully about how to meet future challenges and how to calibrate the potential upsides of transformation.”

Article in Inside Higher Education:

Her most recent co-authored book with Julia Watson is Life Writing in the Long Run: A Smith and Watson Autobiography Studies Reader (University of Michigan, Maize Publishing, 2017). Available in print-on-demand and ebook versions through Amazon, and in an open access version available at

This book gathers twenty-one essays by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson written in collaboration or solo and published over the last quarter-century. It includes the introductions to their five edited collections; essays focused on such autobiographical genres as autoethnography, Bildungsroman, diary, digital life writing, genealogy, graphic memoir, human rights witnessing, manifesto; and essays engaging the key concepts of authenticity, performativity, postcoloniality, relationality, and visuality. This collection captures decades of exciting developments in the field, making it indispensable reading for courses on modes and media of self-presentation in cultural, gender, and literary studies and feminist theory.

Praise for LWLR

Many of these essays have entered the lexicon of criticism in the field of life narrative: the rumpled bed of autobiography, the metrics of authenticity. Smith and Watson are an assemblage, a generative force that has always been slightly ahead of the curve: setting the pace, with a practical bent for toolkits and maps, a prescient sense of getting a life and de/colonizing the subject and, in the long run, an enduring passion for the pleasures of life narrative.

—Gillian Whitlock, The University of Queensland

Both as remarkable individuals, and as the most high-powered and influential team in life writing, Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson have been defining and moving the field forward for decades. If their landmark volume Reading Autobiography is the owner’s manual for autobiography studies, Life Writing in the Long Run serves the same function for their remarkable achievements as theorists, critics, and editors. An absolutely indispensable collection for present and future scholars, and a monument to the most consistently productive, innovative, and generous scholars I know.

—Craig Howes, Director, Center for Biographical Research, Co-Editor, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

Sidonie Smith

Lorna G. Goodison Distinguished University Professor of English and Women’s Studies

University of Michigan
3187 Angell Hall, 435 S. State Street
Ann Arbor MI 48198-1003

Fields of Specialization

Autobiography Studies
Narrative and Human Rights
Feminist Theories 
Women’s Studies in Literature