Liz MacGonagle is an African historian in the Departments of History and African & African American Studies. She is the Acting Director of the Kansas African Studies Center (KASC) for 2013-14. 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. Her first book, Crafting Identity in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, examined four centuries of history from 1500–1900 in the Ndau region of southeastern Africa to challenge popular notions about tribalism. She speaks Portuguese and Ndau, a dialect of Shona. Dr. MacGonagle is currently engaged in analyzing intersections between history and memory at several African sites of memory central to the heritage of slavery. She has received grants from Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Philosophical Society, among others, to support research in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana, and Portugal. Dr. MacGonagle collaborated with Ken Lohrentz (KU Libraries) to digitize a portion of the Onitsha Market Literature collection held at KU's Spencer Research Library. Selections of this popular Nigerian literature, along with a companion website, are on the Internet.
Her undergraduate course offerings include surveys of African history, a seminar on sexuality and gender in African history, a course on the liberation of southern Africa, and a seminar on memory in global perspective. At the graduate level, she teaches seminars in both African Studies and African history. In 2007 she received the ING Excellence in Teaching Award at KU.