Dr. Maimouna Abdoulaye Barro Phd.

Dr. Maimouna Barro

Contact Information

Center for African Studies 210 International Studies Bldg 910 S Fifth M/C 485 Champaign, IL 61820
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Additional Campus Affiliations


Dr. Maimouna Barro is Associate Director at the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois. She received a Master's in African Studies, a doctoral degree in education, as well as a minor in Gender Relations in International Development (GRID) from the University of Illinois. 

In her role as Associate Director in charge of academic programming and curriculum development, Dr. Barro teaches undergraduate and graduate core courses in African Studies and oversees an undergraduate minor, a graduate minor, a Master of Arts degree, as well as and a joint degree in African Studies and Library Information Science. Dr. Barro’s research interests include issues related to women, gender, education, and social change in Senegal and West Africa.  Her current research addresses questions related to a more people-centered approach to regional integration and focuses on the importance of women’s informal networks in the regional integration project in West Africa.

Research Description

Education and Development; Language and Literacy; Language, Identity andTransnationlism; Women and Community Development; Women, Gender, Education andInternational Development; Cross-border Issues, Development and Regional Integration in West Africa.


  • Ph.D. in Education with a minor in Women and Gender in Global Perspectives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2005
  • Gender Roles in International Development (GRID) Certificate, May 2005
  • M.A. in African Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997
  • B.A. & Maitrise in English (Honors), University of Saint-Louis, Senegal, 1993-1995
  • Exchange Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, 1995

Distinctions / Awards

  • • Spencer foundation grant for International Research, UIUC college of Education, 2002
  • • UIUC “Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked Excellent by Their Students”, Spring 2008 & 2010
  • • University of Illinois Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) Award, 2010
  • Kathleen Cloud International Research Fund for dissertation research in Senegal, West Africa, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, University of Illinois, Summer 2002
  • • Top undergraduate award and first student participant in the Université de Saint-Louis (Senegal) and UW-Madison Exchange program, 1994-1995
  • • Chair, Association of African Studies Program (AASP), 2012-2013 • Vice-Chair, Association of African Studies Program (AASP), 2011-2012


  • • Revised and taught three foundational courses in African Studies (AFST 222, AFST 515, AFST 522) • Taught AFST 522 for 3 consecutive years • Solely responsible for the supervision of AFST 515 (Practicum Course in African Studies) • Currently teaching AFST 222 every fall since 2008 • Developed an online version of AFST 222 • Developed a survey course on “Islam in Africa” • Developed an online course on “Higher Education, Development and Globalization” for Global Studies in Education (GSE) program at Illinois. Approved. Scheduled to be taught in spring 2013.
  • AFST 222: Introduction to Modern Africa
  • AFST 522: Development of African Studies

Selected Publications


Barro, Maimouna The Role of Literacy in Enhancing Women's Agency and Well-Being: A Qualitative Inquiry of the Effects of the Tostan Educational Program on the Lives of Women in a Rural Community in Senegal Saarbrucken, Germany Verlag Dr. Miller 2009.

Magazine Articles

Barro, Maimouna A “Trans-nationalizing the African Public Sphere: What Role for Trans-border languages?” West African Research Association Newsletter 2009, p. 2.

Website Articles

climate change; Literacy and education for women in Africa: An Interview Illinois International/Global Viewpoint 2010.
Barro, Dr. Maimouna A "Democracy in Senegal Tested: A Personal Reflection" http://www.afrst.illinois.edu/ 2012. article.

Journal Articles

Barro, Dr. Maimouna A "Trans-nationalizing the African Public Sphere: What Role for Trans-border Languages?" Africa Development XXXV 1 & 2 2010, p. 16. journal Article.