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 terĂ nga - 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


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