College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


 Elizabeth MacGonagle
History, African/African American Studies
Associate Professor, Director, Kansas African Studies Center
Wescoe Hall, Room 3650

Liz MacGonagle is an African historian in the Departments of History and African & African-American Studies. In her research, she crosses historical, geographical, and theoretical boundaries to link nation, culture, and ethnicity to processes of identity formation in African and Diasporan settings.

African/African American Studies
Associate Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 12F

Peter Ojiambo is an Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies. His research focuses on African education, especially in studies on Starehe Boys Center and School of Kenya. He has published in this area and on education, democracy and development. His area of teaching is Kiswahili and he has developed a Kiswahili teaching website. Dr. Ojiambo has held teaching positions at Ohio University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

African/African American Studies
Associate Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 11

Cécile Accilien is Associate Professor of Haitian Studies and Director of the Institute of Haitian Studies in the Department of African and African-American Studies. Her primary areas of interest include Haitian Studies, Gender Studies and Film Studies.

Fraser Hall, Room 418

Glenn Adams conducts research in African and other settings outside the Euro American mainstream of psychological science.

Foundation Distinguished Professor
Fraser Hall, Room 722

Professor Agadjanian (PhD University of Southern California; Foundation Distinguished Professor) conducts research on various aspects of social and demographic change in developing and transitional settings. He has studied migration, sexual and reproductive behavior, gender, ethnicity, and religion. He has directed several large projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, United States Agency for International Development, and other agencies in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Eurasia (Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia). He has published in several languages in leading international scholarly outlets.

African/African American Studies
Associate Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 15

Shawn Leigh Alexander's area of research concentration is African American social and intellectual history of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Snow Hall, Room 437

Professor Asiedu’s research focuses on Foreign Direct Investment, Foreign Aid and HIV/AIDS.  She teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Development and International Economics. She has received several teaching/mentoring awards at the University of Kansas, including The Outstanding Woman Educator AwardKemper Teaching AwardByron Shutz Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Woman of Distinction Award.

Raj Bhala
Law School
Brenneisen Distinguished Professor, Raymond F. Rice Distinguished Professor
Green Hall, Room 410

Raj Bhala's research and teaching focus on international trade law, and Islamic Law.


African/African American Studies
Associate Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 2118

Dr Naima Boussofara teaches courses on Arabic language, Arab cultures and societies. She received her Ph.D in applied linguistics but she also specializes in sociolinguistics.

Religious Studies
Associate Professor
Smith Hall, Room 204

Islamic Studies; the role of the ‘ulamā’ in contemporary Islam; popular religion; media and religion

Political Science, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Associate Professor
Blake Hall, Room 504E

Dr. Britton's major research interest is in gender and politics in Africa. Her research and writing examine how gender is utilized as a site of mobilization for women's social and political advancement, particularly in democratizing contexts. 

Assistant Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 3637

Marie Grace Brown researches and teaches the modern Middle East with a special interest in women’s activism and national movements. Her current book project examines northern Sudanese women’s use of traditional dress to craft their gendered and national identities during Sudan’s independence movement of the 1950s. 

Geography and Atmospheric Science, African/African American Studies
Assistant Professor
Lindley Hall, Room 204

Abel Chikanda (Ph.D., University of Western Ontario) is an Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies and Geography.  His main research and teaching interests include migration and development, refugee movement, food security, and the informal sector in Africa. He has held teaching positions at several universities in Canada including Western University, Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo.

Snow Hall, Room 359

Mohamed El-Hodiri (PhD in Economics and Mathematical Statistics, University of Minnesota), speaks Arabic, English, and Russian and is moderately proficient in French and Biblical Hebrew. He is very well informed on Arab History, Islam, and Middle Eastern religious history, especially pertaining to Egypt. 

African/African American Studies
Assistant Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 9

Professor Gerschultz’s research and teaching interests span modern and contemporary art in Africa and the Middle East, the linkages between textiles, gender, and materiality, and the sociopolitical dynamics of artists’ networks. 

Associate Professor
Fraser Hall, Room 626

Research Areas: Biological anthropology, human population biology, human growth and development, maternal and child health and nutrition, metabolic adaptation, pastoralists; East Africa

Associate Professor
Fraser Hall, Room 636

Dr. Majid Hannoum lectures on North African and Arab societies, especially in the areas of Islamic social and political movements; Islam, colonialism, and nationalism in North Africa; and religion, power, and sexuality in Arab societies.

American Studies, African/African American Studies
Bailey Hall, Room 213N

Randal Jelks' research and writing interests are in the areas of African American religious history, the African Diaspora, urban, and civil Rights History.

School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Department of French & Italian
Associate Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 2073

Prof Kelly specializes in contemporary French literature, the interrelationship of the arts, and French cinema.  He regularly teaches courses in those fields.  In poetry, novel, autofiction, and film, he is particularly interested in the conjuncture of tactile expression and sequencing (gesture, rhythm, paronomasia, image, sound and/or silence, pov, montage, collage, strophes or experiments in visual and writerly grouping of verse, plot events, images, maxims) with broader questions of self-crafting and ideology (liberations, resistances, human rights, social palimpsests and registers, national and transnational political thought, utopias and dystopias).

Curriculum & Teaching
Assistant Professor
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Room 344

Christopher Kirchgasler (Ph.D, University of Wisconsin-Madison) studies the historical, ethnographic and comparative qualities of schooling in East Africa, particularly as they relate to notions of inclusion, equity, and justice. His research directs attention to how contemporary transnational school reforms are "haunted" by colonial residues that define who and what are seen and acted on as the "problems" of individual and social development.

African/African American Studies, American Studies
Professor, Chair, African and African American Studies
Bailey Hall, Room 11A

Professor Lang’s main research and teaching areas are African American working-class and labor history, the Black Freedom Movement, and black urban communities in the twentieth-century Midwest.  

Fraser Hall, Room 741

Professor Obadare's reasearch focuses on:  Transnational Migration, Comparative Societies, Civil Society, Social Change, and Development in Africa.

University Libraries
Librarian for African Studies, Global & International Studies
Watson Library, Room 519

Musa Wakhungu Olaka holds a Ph.D. in Information Science and Learning Technologies from University of Missouri. His research interests include information policy, human information behavior, library and information science education, and genocide studies.

English, Environmental Studies Program, Kansas African Studies Center
Wescoe Hall, Room 3065

In his research and teaching, Byron Caminero-Santangelo focuses on the relationships among language, literature, and pressing issues of justice, freedom, and sustainability in Africa.  

Associate Professor
Fraser Hall, Room 631A

Dr. Rhine's research focuses on the transnational flows of policies, professionals, technologies and resources devoted to intervening in global health problems in West Africa. She is particularly interested in understanding how medical technologies transform the ways individuals think about themselves and experience their bodies, as well as the ways they reconfigure families and social relationships.



African/African American Studies
Bailey Hall, Room 9B

Dr. Peter Ukpokodu lectures on African and African-American Theatre, African film, and African culture (especially traditional religion and thought), among others. 

Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Assistant Professor
Blake Hall, Room 323

Stacey Vanderhurst is a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender, migration, and governance. She earned a PhD from Brown University and then served as the Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Law, Culture, and Society at Indiana University’s Michael Maurer School of Law. She joined the WGSS faculty in Fall 2015.

Antje Ziethen
School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Department of French & Italian
Assistant Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 2064

Antje Ziethen is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Kansas. She specializes in global literature in French, with a particular focus on (urban) space, migration, transnationalism, gender, and modernity. Her research deals with different geographical areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, Québec, and Acadia.

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Wescoe Hall, Room 3001

Dr Anatol's research focuses on Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Literature, especially 20th- and 21st-century women’s writing, African American Literature, and Children’s and Young Adult Literature, particularly representations of race and gender in narratives for young people.

Lee Young Professor of Journalism
Stauffer-Flint Hall, Room 203-B
Associate Professor
Capitol Federal Hall, Room 3124

Dr. Birch's research interests include Strategic Management, International Business, International Trade and Investment, and Business in Latin America.

African/African American Studies
Associate Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 12G

Anthony Bolden's teaching and research interests include African-American music, African-American cultural studies, popular culture, African literature, and ethnic-American literature. He has published extensively on Funk and Blues. 

Geography and Atmospheric Science, Environmental Studies Program
Professor, Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Lindley Hall, Room 223

His interests include Social relations in Amazonian rural development, Expansion of soybean production in Amazonia, and Development and the Politics of Scale.

Jacob Dakon
Associate Professor
Murphy Hall, Room 408

Jacob M. Dakon, violinist, is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Kansas and a Research Fellow with the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Senior Lecturer
Wescoe Hall

Brian Daldorph teaches creative writing, literature, and writing classes in the English department. He has also taught in Japan, Senegal, and England. His two books of poems, The Holocaust and Hiroshima: Poems, and Outcasts, were both published by Mid-America Press. He edits Coal City Review. His poems, stories, articles, and reviews have been widely published.

Assistant Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 3639

Andy Denning's current research "Civilization through Motorization: Vehicles and Roads in Europe's African Empire" examines how vehicles and road projects became a lens through which Europeans viewed and experienced Africa. 

Geography and Atmospheric Science, Kansas Biological Survey
Lindley Hall, Room 409

Dr Egbert's interests include: Use of time-series satellite imagery to characterize and monitor land use and land cover, Evaluation of geospatial technologies for mapping and maintaining minefield databases, and Geographic aspects of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity.

American Studies
Assistant Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 213J
Applied Behavioral Science, Life Span Institute
Professor Emeritus, Director, Work Group for Community Health and Development, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies & Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development
Dole Human Development Center, Room 4082

Dr Fawcett's mission is to understand and improve how people work together to create conditions for community health and development through collaborative research, teaching, and public service.



Mary Fry
Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences
Associate Professor
Robinson Health and Physical Education Center, Room 161

Mary Fry oversees the graduate program in sport and exercise psychology.  Her research focuses on creating a caring and task-involving climate for youngsters in physical activity settings. 

University Distinguished Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 3102

Dr Graham focuses on Genre Studies, including fiction and autobiography; African American literature;Archival Studies; Diaspora and Transnational Criticism and theories; and Digital humanities.

American Studies, African/African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair, Department of American Studies
Bailey Hall, Room 211

Dr. Hamer's general area of study is the sociological and qualitative study of families, especially those within the United States. Within this broad field, her primary research interests are African American fathers, mothers, and families, especially those that are urban, low-income and working class.

School of the Arts - Visual Art
Associate Professor
Chalmers Hall, Room 513

Tanya Hartman has shown her work in a variety of venues and exhibitions all over the country, including the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, Pa.; the Chico Art Center in Chico, Calif.; and the Cinque Gallery and the A.I.R. Gallery in New York.


Curriculum & Teaching, African/African American Studies
Assistant Professor
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Room 306
School of the Arts - Theatre
Associate Professor, Chair, Department of Theatre Co-Director School of the Arts
Murphy Hall, Room 317

Nicole Hodges teaches courses on hip-hop, acting, African American theater, race and performance and improvisation theory. Her research interests include African-America drama, performance, and culture, hip-hop, women's and gender studies, solo performance and transnationalism.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Room 406

Dr. Imber specializes in Educational Law, Policy, Reform, and Administration.

Associate Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 3611

Dr. Jahanbani is an historian of American foreign relations specializing in the post-1945 period. She is especially interested in the legacy of the liberal internationalist tradition in American foreign policy. This includes the history of U.S. relations with the "Third World," the history of the social sciences, (particularly the history of modernization and development), and the emergence of distinctly "global" problems in the post-World War II period.


Associate Professor
Capitol Federal Hall, Room 4154

Accounting and Information Systems

Political Science
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Director for Political Science
Blake Hall, Room 521

Dr Kennedy teaches undergraduate classes on China’s social and political development, politics of developing countries, and research methods, as well as graduate courses on comparative institutions and conducting fieldwork in developing countries.  

Susan King
Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences
Associate Professor, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, HSES
Robinson Health and Physical Education Center, Room 161G

Susan King teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in curriculum design, instructional methods, dance, and technology. Her research interests include the recruitment and retention of ethnic minorities, teacher reflection, professionalism, and the connection between physical activity and academic achievement.

KU Biodiversity Institute, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Professor, Director, Biodiversity Institute
Dyche Hall

Dr. Krishtalka’s research encompassed the evolution of mammals, with paleontological field expeditions throughout western Canada and the U. S., Europe, north and east Africa, China and Patagonia.

Marie Alice L'Heureux
Associate Professor
Marvin Hall, Room 405C

Marie-Alice L’Heureux teaches architectural design and a variety of seminars on the city and sustainability. She does research, writing, and teaching on the social and cultural issues that surround the successful implementation of principles of sustainability. She is especially interested in the legacy of infrastructural investment and the impact of unequal development over time. Geographically her work has focused on the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as well as in the major cities of the United States and Canada.


Wescoe Hall, Room 3618
School of the Arts - Visual Art
Chalmers Hall, Room 503

 Judith's large figurative oil paintings are distillations of both personal narrative themes and the influences from extensive travel to Mexico and South America. A continuing series of large figurative oils depicts phosphorescent female nudes in prone positions suggesting both sex and death. In these neo-romantic works, Judith takes a traditional subject and re-issues woman as a self-contained entity. Exuding a strong animalistic presence, these women defy appropriation as if frozen in anthropological time.

Paul Mirecki
Religious Studies
Associate Professor
Smith Hall, Room 205

Specialization: Ancient Mediterranean cultures, languages & religions; ancient Greek & Coptic manuscripts.
 Professor Mirecki is an active member of several international scholarly societies, has convened several international academic conferences, and regularly searches European and American museum collections for unstudied ancient manuscripts which he prepares for publication.

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU Biodiversity Institute
Associate Professor/Associate Curator
Haworth Hall

Dr Mark Mort studies the evolutionary relationships of the angiosperm family Crassulaceae using DNA sequences from chloroplast and nuclear gene regions

Chair, Anthropology Department, University Distinguished Professor
Fraser Hall, Room 723

Joane Nagel is a political and cultural sociologist; her work focuses on ethnicities, genders, and sexualities in the US and in the global system, cultural production and construction, social and nationalist movements, American Indian activism, and global climate change. Her current research examines the sociological dimensions of global environmental change, specifically the race, class, gender, and sexual dimensions of climate change.

Museum Studies, KU Biodiversity Institute
Professor/Curator in Charge, Curator in Charge, Division of Archaeology, Biodiversity Institute/Museum of Natural History
Spooner Hall, Room 6E
Senior Lecturer, Director, Masters of Accounting
Capitol Federal Hall, Room 4155E
African/African American Studies, Communication Studies
Associate Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 102

Dr. Pennington is a specialist on intercultural communication and African-American culture, the cultural discourse on trauma/terror and has taught courses on the Rhetoric of African Americans, the Black Woman, Black Male and Female Communications, among others.


Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU Biodiversity Institute
University Distinguished Professor
Dyche Hall, Room 713

Dr. Peterson's research focuses on aspects of the geography of biodiversity. His formal training was in tropical ornithology, with a particular focus on systematics

American Studies, History
Foundation Distinguished Professor
Bailey Hall, Room 213
Associate Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 2612

Cultural and Social History of 20th Century Latin America; Urban Sociology and Urban History; and Labor and Working-Class History of Latin America.

Assistant Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 3650

His interests include: Latin America (Mexico, Central America, Caribbean); history of race (intellectual and social development); African Diaspora in Latin America, indigenous history (ethnohistory of Mesoamerica).

Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Aya and Takeru Higuchi Distinguished Professor, Associate Chair, Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Co-Director, NIH Biotechnology Training Program
Simons Biosciences Research Laboratories, Room 201D
Associate Professor
Marvin Studios, Room 132
Fraser Hall, Room 753

David Smith is a specialist in sociological theory who studies inequality and the psychology of inequality. His writings include publications on classical and critical social theory, anti-Semitism, authority, authoritarianism, charisma, genocide, the Rwandan genocide, capitalism, and labor.  

Wescoe Hall, Room 3027

Dr. Tidwell focuses on African American and American literatures.

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU Biodiversity Institute
Professor, Robert Mark Timm
Haworth Hall

Dr Timm studies the life history, ecology and conservation biology of mammals of the New World tropics. 

School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Associate Professor of Brazilian Literature and Culture
Wescoe Hall, Room 2630
Maria Velasco
School of the Arts - Visual Art
Associate Professor
Chalmers Hall, Room 515
Journalism, Journalism Administration
Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Stauffer-Flint Hall, Room 200

Tom Volek spent 15 years in commercial television and then entered academe.  He has worked extensively with Russian journalism schools on their emerging market-based media, and the U.S. military on military-media issues.

History, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Associate Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 3616

Professor Warren's research interests include the history of gender and race in African American and Native American education, Kansas, and the United States. Her teaching interests include women's history, citizenship and American identity, race and gender relations, identity development in the African Diaspora, as well as social, civil rights, and reform movements. Warren regularly offers service-learning options in her upper-level women's history course; a link to her electronic course poster in the Center for Teaching Excellence gallery can be seen here.

Associate Professor
Capitol Federal Hall, Room 4126

Jide Wintoki's research interests include empirical corporate finance (especially corporate governance), international finance and applied econometrics.

School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Assistant Professor
Wescoe Hall, Room 2628
Lecturer, Arabic, Arabic Coordinator
Bailey Hall, room 12A

Mahmoud M. Ali is a lecture and coordinator of the Arabic Program. He received his MA in linguistics from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has also studied English language & literature, German and Arabic for his BA degree in his home country, Egypt. He has worked as English instructor at Defense Language Institute (Egypt) and Al-Baha University (Saudi Arabia), and as Arabic instructor at Ohio University. Mahmoud has done research on conceptual transfer, non-native English speech assessment as well as dialect perception and identification. He is also interested in foreign language pedagogy and proficiency assessment. 

Lecturer, Wolof

Ibrahima Ba holds a PhD in Linguistics from KU. He focuses on phonetics, phonology, syntax, and second language acquisition.

Lecturer, West African Drumming

Dylan Bassett has been the director of the African Drum Ensemble at KU since it was created in 2007 through the Kansas African Studies Center. Dylan is a composer, percussionist, and teacher. He holds a BA in Music and an MA in Global and International Studies.

Lecturer, Kiswahili

Peter holds a BA in Language and Literature Studies, from Moi University, Kenya, a MA in Applied Linguistics, and a MEd in Educational Administration, both from Ohio University, Ohio. It is also at Ohio University where Peter completed his PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs in 2016. Peter’s current research focuses on the impact of the STARTALK language program on the internationalization of higher education in the United States.

Dekow Sagar
Lecturer, Somali
Bailey Hall Room 9

Dekow graduated from Grand View University in Iowa with degrees in Human Services and Political Science and a concentration in Public Administration. He earned a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Drake University.  He also received his MBA from West Texas A&M University.

Professor Emeritus , Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Department of Theatre

Professor Ajayi-Soyinka has joint appointments in Theatre Department and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) departments. As interdisciplinary scholar, her teaching, research publications and creative works encompass theatre, performance, literary, and gender studies, including the critical theories that inform them. 

Research Areas: medical anthropology, semiotics, violence, trauma and healing; Central Africa, Euro-American Mennonites

John M. Janzen researches and writes on the socio-cultural dimensions of African health and healing, and theoretical issues in medical anthropology. He has studied healing traditions in Africa, their characteristics and interactions between them. In projects and works-mainly in Central Africa-- he has explored the construction of healing narratives and institutions.

Kansas African Studies Center, African/African American Studies

Beverly Mack is a Professor Emeritus of African Studies in the Department of African and African American Studies. She regularly taught the following courses:  Women and Islam, Muslim Women's Autobiography, African Women Writers, and  Islamic (Sufi) Literature.  Prior to joining KU, Professor Mack taught at Yale University (Hausa language and African Literature), Georgetown University (African History), and George Mason University (African Literature).

Expert instruction in Arabic, Kiswahili, and Wolof at the beginning and intermediate levels will be offered over eight weeks in June-July 2018.

Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships

The Kansas African Studies Center has received $140,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch public discussions, community programming, and the creation of educational resources in local communities to discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding recent demographic changes in the region. Visit to learn more. 

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