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Stephen Smith

Professor of the Practice of African and African American Studies
African & African American Studies
Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708-0257
Ernestine Friedl Building (East Campus), Durham, NC 27708-0257


Stephen W. Smith has been teaching African Studies at Duke since 2007. Until 2013, he also lectures as an adjunct at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD in semiotics from Berlin's Free University and graduated in anthropology at the Sorbonne (Panthéon) in Paris. The deputy editor of the foreign desk at Le Monde for five years and, previously, the Africa editor at Libération for twelve years, he had worked as a roving correspondent in West and Central Africa for Reuters news agency and Radio France International (RFI). He is the (co-)author of sixteen books, of country reports (Nigeria, Central African Republic) for the International Crisis Group, and a consultant for the UN and other international bodies. He has widely contributed to many publications and writes regularly for The London Review of Books. He also works for the film industry as a historical consultant and script writer.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of the Practice of African and African American Studies · 2014 - Present African & African American Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Free University of Berlin (Germany) · 1984 Ph.D.