College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


​​Elizabeth MacGonagle

Director, Kansas African Studies Center
Associate Professor, History/African and African American Studies

Dr. Liz MacGonagle is an African historian in the Departments of History and African & African American Studies. She learned Kiswahili when studying in Kenya and as undergraduate, and she now speaks Portuguese and Ndau, a dialect of Shona. 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. Dr. MacGonagle is currently engaged in analyzing intersections between history and memory at several African sites of memory central to the heritage of slavery.

Peter Ojiambo

Assistant Professor, African and African American Studies
African Languages Coordinator

Dr. Peter Ojiambo is an Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies. His area of teaching expertise 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 before coming to KU. His research focuses on African education, especially studies of the Starehe Boys Center and School of Kenya. He has published in this area and on education, democracy, and development.

Naima Boussofara

Associate Professor, African and African American Studies
Coordinator of the Arabic Language Program

​Dr. Naima Boussofara received her Ph.D in applied linguistics and also specializes in sociolinguistics. She teaches courses on Arabic language, Arab cultures and societies. Her current research is on the intersection between linguistic choices and linguistic ideologies in political and media discourse of diglossic and bilingual Arabic-speaking communities.  She coordinates the successful Arabic Language Program at KU and serves as the director of the KU Arabic Language Summer Institute at Al Akhawan University in Morocco. Dr. Boussofara is a member of the Middle Eastern Studies Association, the Arabic Linguistics Society, the American Institute for Maghreb Studies and the American Association of Teachers of Arabic.

Ibrahima Ba

Wolof, African and African American Studies

Ibrahima Ba is a Wolof instructor in the Department of African and African American Studies. He focuses on phonetics, phonology, syntax, and second language acquisition.

Emily Riley

Assistant Director, Kansas African Studies Center

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. Her research and teaching interests include women and politics, identity politics, social media and social change, national identity formations, and hospitality.


Instructors' courses


Elementary ARAB 110 Reema Al-Mutair
Intermediate ARAB 210 Bushra Obeidat
Elementary KISW 110 Peter Ojiambo
Intermediate KISW 210 Peter Ojiambo
Elementary WOLO 110 Ibrahima Ba


Elementary ARAB 120 Reema Al-Mutair
Intermediate ARAB 220  Talal Khelifi
Elementary KISW 120 Gerald Nyiti
Intermediate KISW 220 Gerald Nyiti
Elementary WOLO 120 Ibrahima Ba

Engage, Connect, Communicate

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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