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

Associate Professor, African and African American Studies
Kiswahili Language Instructor

Dr. Peter Ojiambo is an Associate 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.


Mahmoud Ali

Lecturer, Department of African and African-American Studies
Coordinator of the Arabic Language Program

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. 

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 Mahmoud Ali
Intermediate ARAB 210 Mahmoud Ali
Elementary KISW 110 Peter Ojiambo
Intermediate KISW 210 Peter Ojiambo
Elementary WOLO 110 Ibrahima Ba


Elementary ARAB 120 Asmaa Alotaibi
Intermediate ARAB 220  Asmaa Alotaibi
Elementary KISW 120 Peter Mwangi
Intermediate KISW 220 Peter Mwangi
Elementary WOLO 120 Ibrahima Ba

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