Our Team

Stephen SmithStephen Smith, Ph.D.

Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies
Professor of the Practice and Associate Chair in African and African American Studies with a secondary appointment in Romance Studies

Stephen Smith has taught African Studies at Duke since 2007. Until 2013, he also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. He holds a Ph.D. in Science of Information (semiotics) from the Free University in Berlin and degrees in African Studies and Anthropology from the Sorbonne in Paris. He worked as a West Africa correspondent for Reuters and Radio France International (RFI) prior to becoming the Africa Editor of Libération, in 1988, and then, in 2000, of Le Monde. In addition to his journalistic work, country reports for the International Crisis Group (ICG) and his research as historical consultant for the film industry, he has authored, or co-authored, 17 monographs on Africa, among them an atlas and biographies of Emperor Bokassa, General Oufkir and Winnie Mandela. He contributes to the London Review of Books.



Nicolas ColemanNicolas Coleman


Nicolas Coleman is a junior at Duke planning to major in Political Science. He runs the 400 meters and 800 meters as a member of Duke's Varsity Track Team. He is an incoming Global Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is a dual-citizen of the United States and Switzerland. He has worked in digital communications for Steve Schewel's Durham NC mayoral campaign and for the Durham Human Relations Commission. He joined the CFFS in January 2018.