College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Emily Riley

Assistant Director
Primary office:
207 Bailey Hall


Emily Riley has more than a decade of experience researching Africa, engaging with African Studies and African languages, and working on university partnerships in Africa. She holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on political anthropology and gender in Senegal and West Africa. Emily joins us from East Lansing, Michigan where she completed her doctorate in Anthropology at Michigan State University while working extensively with the African Studies Center there. Her dissertation research was supported by several FLAS fellowships in Wolof and a Fulbright-Hays grant, and focused on the political, religious, and gendered aspects of the Wolof concept of terànga - hospitality, generosity, and honor. She hails from Oregon and received a bachelor's degree in Anthropology, French, and International Studies at Oregon State University.

Dr. Riley is currently working on publications from research she conducted in Dakar in the summer of 2017 with the support of a West African Research Association (WARA) postdoctoral grant. She followed the campaigns of several female parliamentarians in the Senegalese government and the praise singers that animate rallies and serve to remind spectators of the politicians' magnanimous stature. Her research and teaching interests include women and politics, identity politics, social media and social change, national identity formations, hospitality, exchange



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 www.migrationstories.ku.edu to learn more. 

Upcoming Events
48 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Pharmacy school No. 2 nationally for NIH funding
Hall Center receives 3rd NEH challenge grant to support humanities research collaboration
Regional leader in technology commercialization
12 graduate programs rank in top 10 nationally among public universities.
—U.S. News & World Report
Driving discovery, innovation, entrepreneurship
Home to 15 major research centers & state surveys
1st in nation for its special education master’s and doctorate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
1st in nation for its city management and urban policy master’s program.
—U.S. News & World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
KU Today