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, L. D. “Commitment to Scientific Truth.” Anthropology Newsletter, vol. 40, Apr. 1999, pp. 2–2.

Baker, L. D. “Over a Cliff or into a Brick Wall: Political and Policy Implications of Racial Categories.” Anthropology Newsletter, vol. 39, 1998, pp. 16–17.

Baker, L. D. “Unraveling the Boasian Discourse: The Racial Politics of "Culture" in School Desegregation, 1944-1954.Transforming Anthropology, vol. 7, 1998, pp. 15–32.

Baker, Lee D. “Columbia University's Franz Boas: He Led the Undoing of Scientific Racism.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 22, JSTOR, 1998, pp. 89–89. Crossref, doi:10.2307/2998850. Full Text

Baker, L. D. “New Directions in the History of United States Anthropology.” Transforming Anthropology, vol. 7, 1998, pp. 71–74.

Baker, Lee D. “Rethinking Race: Franz Boas and His Contemporaries.Vernon J. Williams, Jr.American Journal of Sociology, vol. 102, no. 3, University of Chicago Press, Nov. 1996, pp. 909–10. Crossref, doi:10.1086/231023. Full Text

Baker, L. D. “Reflections in the National Mirror.” Anthropology Newsletter, vol. 1, Feb. 1996, pp. 6–6.

Baker, L. D. “Race and the American Agenda, part II. Clarence Thomas’ Re-invention of Anthropology.” Anthropology Newsletter, Jan. 1996, pp. 18–19.

Baker, L. D. “Review of Rethinking Race: Franz Boaz and His Contemporaries, by Vernon J. Williams, Jr.American Journal of Sociology, vol. 102, 1996, pp. 909–10.