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Adriane D. Lentz-Smith

Associate Professor of History
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
Dept of History, Classroom Bldg, Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
Office hours By appointment  


Adriane Lentz-Smith is Associate Professor Duke's department of History where she teaches courses on the Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives, Modern America, and History in Fact and Fiction. A scholar of African American history as well as the histories of the twentieth-century United States and the US & the World, Lentz Smith is author of Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I (Harvard University Press, 2009). The book explores how African Americans worked through ideas of manhood, citizenship, and global encounter to pursue the black freedom struggle during World War I and build the civil rights movement that followed. Her article, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Grand Strategy,” can be found in the forthcoming volume, Rethinking American Grand Strategy(Oxford University Press, 2021).

Her book in progress, "The Slow Death of Sagon Penn: State Violence, and the Twilight of Civil Rights," explores the long aftermath of one man’s devastating encounter with the police in San Diego in 1985. The book traces how state violence and white supremacy remade and sustained themselves in the twilight of the civil rights era. She also has published in journals such as American Quarterly, Modern American History, and Southern Cultures; and served as a consultant to the documentary, “The Jazz Ambassadors” as well as the Library of Congress exhibit, “Echoes of the Great War.” She can be seen on the documentaries, “The Great War,” "Hellfighters," and "Voice of Freedom."

A senior fellow in Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, Lentz-Smith hosts Kenan’s community conversations series, “The Ethics of Now.” She serves on the advisory board for Duke University Press as well as for the journals Modern American History and Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor of History · 2012 - Present History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Associate Professor in the Program of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies · 2021 - Present Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Yale University · 2005 Ph.D.