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Dr. Maimouna Abdoulaye Barro PhD

Profile picture for Dr. Maimouna Abdoulaye  Barro PhD

Contact Information

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


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

Awards and Honors

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

Courses Taught

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

Additional Campus Affiliations

Highlighted 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

“Seal the Deal! However, What’s in it For Africa?” UN Chronicle, 2009, p. 1.

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", 2012. article.

Barro, Dr. Maimouna A. "Maimouna Barro, Interim Director, Center for African Studies discusses the recent presidential election in Senegal" Illinois International/Global Viewpoint, 2012. Interview.

Journal Articles

Barro, Dr. Maimouna A. "Trans-nationalizing the African Public Sphere: What Role for Trans-border Languages?" Africa Development, vol. XXXV, no. 1 & 2, 2010, p. 16. Journal Article.

Barro, Dr. Maimouna A. "Development Aid and Higher Education in Africa: The Need for More Effective Partnerships between African Universities and Major American Foundations" CODESRIA Bulletin, vol. 1 & 2, 2012, p. 30. Article.