Beverly Mack

Professor Emerita of African Studies in the Department of African and African American Studies
Courtesy Professor of Religious Studies
Evaluations Committee Chair
Primary office:

Beverly Mack is a Professor of African Studies in the Department of African and African American Studies and a Courtesy Professor of Religious Studies. She regularly teaches the following courses: Women and Islam, Muslim Women's Autobiography, African Women Writers, and Islamic (Sufi) Literature. Prior to joining KU, Professor Mack taught at Yale University (Hausa language and African literature), Georgetown University (African history), and George Mason University (African literature).​

Lectures by Professor Mack are available at KU’s Scholarworks site:




Professor Mack holds Ph.D. and Master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her Ph.D. and M.A. are in African literature, with doctoral minors in African history and Comparative Literature. She has conducted extended field research in Kano, Nigeria, and Fes, Morocco, shorter research periods in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Guinea-Conakry, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone. She has published extensively on African literature and Muslim women's lives in West Africa. Her books include: Hausa Women in the Twentieth Century (University of Wisconsin Press, 1990),The Collected Works of Nana Asma'u, daughter of Shehu Usman dan Fodiyo, 1793-1864 (Michigan State University Press, 1997), One Woman's Jihad: Nana Asma'u, Scholar and Scribe (Indiana University Press, 2001), Muslim Women Sing: Hausa Popular Song (Indiana University Press, 2004) and Educating Muslim Women: The West African Legacy of Nana Asma'u (London: Interface Press, 2013). She is currently working on a book about Muslim women scholars in Nigeria and Morocco. Her research has been funded by a variety of external grants and fellowships from: Fulbright-Hays, National Endowment for the Humanities, Woodrow Wilson, Carnegie Corporation, and the NDEA Title VI language study grant program. In 2000 Professor Mack was selected as one of twelve national Carnegie Corporation scholars for Innovative Scholarship in Education, International Development, Democracy, and International Peace and Security.

Professor Mack's service extends to regional and national venues. She has been the Department's African Languages Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, and Honors Coordinator. She has procured and orchestrated a U.S. Dept of Education Title VI International Studies grant for the development of less commonly taught languages on the KU campus, and has acted as Interim Associate Dean of International Programs. Regionally she lectures for the Kansas Humanities Council Book Discussion Groups, and for local book groups. She is a Kansas Humanities Council Board member. In addition, she speaks often for regional groups interested in learning more about issues related to Islam, and has lectured in Pennsylvania and Ohio for Islamic communities there.

Professor Mack's awards include: the national African Studies Association's Text and Translation Book Award, the University of Kansas's Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award, the KU Vice Chancellor Book Subvention Award, and the KU Graduate School Book Subvention Award.

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KU announces first Diversity Leadership Awards
Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Langston Hughes Center received a $180,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a June 2017 summer institute for high school teachers, entitled "Teaching the 'Long Hot Summer' of 1967 and Beyond."  The project will be led by Shawn Alexander, Clarence Lang, and John Rury.

Teresa Leslie-Canty, AAAS Lecturer and a Topeka High School teacher, nominated by her students in February, won a free Nissan Versa Tuesday night as the KSNT News and Capital City Nissan of Topeka “Teacher of the Year”. Teresa Leslie-Canty was previously the February “Teacher of the Month” after being nominated by 13 of her students.

Professor Jessica Gerschultz has been awarded the prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year. The Fellowship is for her book project, Decorative Arts of the Tunisian Ecole: Fabrications of Modernism, Gender, and Class in Tunisia (1948-1972).

African and African-American studies professor Professor Beverly Mack wins inaugural engaged scholarship award

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Professor Dorthy Pennington was inducted into the Central States Communication Association Hall of Fame (April 2015)

Student Spotlight

Second year AAAS MA student, Caroline Kastor is also a professional athlete.  This summer Caroline, former KU soccer standout, signed with FC Kansas City and topped off her rookie season by helping lead the organization to their second straight National Women’s Soccer League championship on October 1, 2015.

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