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Mission and Governance of the Center

The Kansas African Studies Center coordinates and develops interdisciplinary interests in all areas of African Studies across the University of Kansas, and promotes an understanding of Africa and its diaspora in the university, the state of Kansas, the Midwest, and beyond. The Center's mission includes the enhancement of curriculum, the sponsorship of research, the organization of conferences, the promotion of special projects, the acquisition of library and related resources, and the implementation of outreach programs. KASC actively pursues funding opportunities to make these activities possible and assist the university in their realization. 

The Center Director is appointed by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The Executive Committee includes the Director, the Assistant Director, the Faculty Associate Director, the African Language Coordinator, a representative from KU Libraries, and one faculty member from the Department of African & African-American Studies. In addition, five at-large faculty representatives from the professional schools and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences) are elected by the Council. One student representative is also a voting member. Ex officio members of the Executive Committee are the Chair of the Department of African & African-American Studies, the Dean of International Programs or a representative, and the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for International and Interdisciplinary Studies. The Executive Committee usually meets monthly and functions as the major policy-formulating body for the Center.

(From the Bylaws adopted by the University of Kansas African Studies Council, April 24, 1998. Revised April 2007, March 2016, February 2018)

KASC, as well as other area studies centers, reports to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and works with Graduate Studies and the Office of International Programs. The Center has a direct and dynamic relationship with the Department of African & African-American Studies.

Executive Committee Members:
Elizabeth MacGonagle (KASC Director), Peter Ojiambo (KASC Faculty Associate Director), Emily Riley (KASC Assistant Director), Musa Olaka (KU Libraries); Brenda Wawire (AAAS Language Coordinator) and Abel Chikanda (AAAS Representative)
Elected At-Large Members: 
Elizabeth Asiedu (Economics) 2018-2020 
Byron Caminero-Santangelo (English and Environmental Studies) 2016-2018
Mariah Crystal (Graduate Student in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) 2018-2020
Mohamed El-Hodiri (Economics) 2016-2018
Van Kelly (French, Francophone, and Italian Studies) 2017-2019
Katie Rhine (Anthropology) 2018-2020
Stacey Vanderhurst (Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)  2017-2019
Antje Ziethen (French, Francophone, and Italian Studies) 2017-2019


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. 

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