Lee D. Baker

Lee D. Baker

Mrs. Alexander Hehmeyer Professor of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
210 Friedl Bldg, Durham, NC 27708-0042
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0042
(919) 681-3263


Lee D. Baker is Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, and African and African American Studies at Duke University. He received his B.S. from Portland State University and doctorate in anthropology from Temple University. He has been a resident fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Johns Hopkins’s Institute for Global Studies, The University of Ghana-Legon, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Humanities Center. His books include From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896-1954 (1998), Life in America: Identity and Everyday Experience (2003), and Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture (2010). Although he focuses on the history of anthropology, he has published numerous articles on such wide ranging subjects as socio-linguistics to race and democracy. Baker is also the recipient of Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Teaching Award. He served as Dean of Academic Affairs from 2008-2016. 

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Temple University 1994

  • B.S., Portland State University 1989

Baker, LD. Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture. Duke University Press, 2010.

Life in America: Identity and Everyday Experience. Ed. LD Baker. Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Baker, LD. From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896-1954. University of California Press, 1998.

"Racism, risk, and the new color of dirty jobs." The Insecure American: How We Got Here and What We Should Do about It. November 24, 2009. 140-159.

Baker, LD. "Saggin’ and Braggin’." Anthropology Off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing. Ed. Waterston, A and Vesperi, M.: Wiley-Blackwell. 2009. Full Text

Baker, LD. "The Location of Franz Boas within the African-American Struggle [reprint]." Franz Boas: Kultur, Sprache, Rasse. Ed. F Pöhl and B Tilg. Wien, LIT Verlag., 2009. 111-129.

Baker, L. "Boas, Franz." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. J William A Darity. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 344-346.

Baker, L. ""Anthropology, History of."." Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Ed. JH Moore. Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 93-97.

Baker, LD. "Speaking of Anthropological Theory." A History of Anthropological Theory. Ed. PA Erickson and LD Murphy. Broadview Press., 2008.

Baker, L. "Signing Off." 2007. 95-96.

Baker, LD. "Missionary Positions." Globalization and RaceTransformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Ed. KM Clarke and DA Thomas. Duke University Press, 2006. Pp. 37-54.

Baker, LD. "Frederic Ward Putnam." Celebrating a Century of the American Anthropological Assocaition: Presidential Portraits. Ed. R Darnell and FW Gleach. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002. 5-9.

Baker, LD. "The Color Blind Bind." Cultural Diversity in the United States. Ed. I Susser and TC Patterson. Malden, MA: Blackwell Press, 2001. 103-19.


Handler, R, Bashkow, I, Solway, J, Baker, LD, and Schrempp, G. "Voicing the ancestors." Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6.3 (December 2016): 367-386. Full Text

Baker, LD, and Canada, T. "Is it Worth it? Science Education of the Talented 2%." Transforming Anthropology 24.2 (October 1, 2016): 116-124. Full Text Open Access Copy

Baker, LD. "The cult of Franz Boas and his "conspiracy" to destroy the white race." Proc Am Philos Soc 154.1 (March 2010): 8-18.

Baker, LD. "Franz Boas and his “Conspiracy” to Destroy the White Race." American Philosophical Society Proceedings 154.1 (2010): 8-18.

Baker, LD. "Notes on “Post-Racial” Society." North American Dialogue 13.2 (2010): 1-5. (Academic Article)

Baker, LD. "The Location of Franz Boas within the African-American Struggle [reprint]." Ed. F Pöhl and B Tilg. (2009): 111-129. (Academic Article)

Baker, LD. "Review of The social sciences and theories of race." JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE 14.1 (March 2008): 234-235. Full Text

Baker, L. "Boas, Franz." Ed. J William A Darity. 1 (2008): 344-346. (Academic Article)


Baker, LD. "Speaking of Anthropological Theory." Ed. PA Erickson and LD Murphy. (2008).

Baker, LD. "Signing Off." Transforming Anthropology 15.2 (October 2007): 95-96. (Scholarly Commentary)

Baker, L. "Transforming Anthropology." 15 (April 2007).

Baker, L. "W.G. Pearson’s Uniforms about Distinction." Durham Herald Sun Nov (2007): A22-A22.

Baker, LD. "Mad or Meditative in Maricopa." Transforming Anthropology 14.2 (October 2006): 129-132.

Baker, LD. "Hate Crime, Plain and Simple." Durham Herald Sun (June 2006): A6-A6.

Baker, LD. "Thinking Through Genre." Transforming Anthropology 14.1 (April 2006). (Scholarly Commentary)

Baker, LD. "Parental involvement on display at W.G. Pearson." Durham Herald Sun Dec 7 A4 (2006). (Scholarly Commentary)