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Stephen Smith, Professor of the Practice of African and African American Studies  

Office Location: Ernestine Friedl Building (East Campus), Durham, NC 27708-0257
Office Phone: (919) 681-6111
Duke Box: 90257
Email Address: ssmith9@duke.edu

Areas of Expertise

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

    Research Description: Smith graduated in anthropology at the Sorbonne in Paris and obtained his Ph.D. in 1983 from Berlin’s Free University. The former deputy editor of the foreign desk at Le Monde and, previously, Africa editor of Libération, he worked for many years as traveling correspondent in Africa for Reuters and Radio France International. He is the (co-)author of sixteen monographs, of country reports (Nigeria, CAR) for the International Crisis Group and consultancies for the UN, in addition to numerous journalistic and academic publications. He contributes to the London Review of Books and also works as historical consultant for the film industry (Whisper to A Roar, Plot for Peace). Olivier Assayas’s film Carlos, which won in 2010 a Golden Globe and both the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award and the New York Film Critics Circle award for Best Foreign Language Film, is based on his research.

    Teaching (Fall 2023):

    • Aaas 310s.01, Conflict analysis in africa Synopsis
      Perkins 070, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
    • Aaas 312.01, War & public health in africa Synopsis
      Old chem 101, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

    Recent Publications   (More Publications)

    1. Carayannis, T; Lombard, L. Making Sense of the Central African Republic. Zed Books, July, 2015. 256 pages pp.  [abs]
    2. Smith, S. "Behind France’s Foray into Mali."  May, 2013: 163-169.
    3. Smith, SW. "France in Africa: A New Chapter?."  CURRENT HIST INC, May, 2013: 163-168. [Gateway.cgi]
    4. GLASER, A; SMITH, SW. Sarko en Afrique. Plon, January, 2011. 152 pages pp.  [abs]
    5. Smith, SW. "Sudan: In a Procrustean Bed with Crisis."  Brill, 2011: 169-189. [doi]  [abs]

    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.

    Stephen Smith is the former Africa editor of Le Monde and co-author of books on Morocco, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and South Africa, as well as of country reports (Nigeria, CAR) published by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

    Stephen Smith