Campus News

African Studies director named University Professor

Lioba Moshi

Lioba Moshi, a professor of comparative literature and director of the African Studies Institute in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a University Professor.

The title of University Professor is given to faculty at UGA who have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities. The impact may be in the areas of policy development, teaching, curricular change, innovative programs or academic leadership. The honor recognizes individuals whose actions as change-agents have improved the quality with which the university serves its missions.

No more than one University Professor may be named in any given year. The professor receives a permanent increase of $10,000 in salary added to the merit raise in the year of appointment. In addition, the professor receives a yearly academic support account of $5,000 as long as she or he holds the position. Appointment to the position ordinarily is continuous until retirement or resignation from the professorial ranks.

“I am indeed thrilled for this honor,” said Moshi. “I am equally thrilled that my colleagues and I had the opportunity to build ­African studies at the University of Georgia.”

A native of Tanzania, Moshi received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in linguistics from the University of Dar Es Salaam. She earned an M.Phil. degree from the University of York in England and a Ph.D. from UCLA, both in linguistics.

Moshi began her academic career at Stanford University and came to UGA in 1988. She taught during the 1994–1995 academic year at the University of Pennsylvania.

At UGA, Moshi established the program in African languages, which currently includes Swahili, Yoruba and Zulu, and also established a studies abroad program in ­Africa in 1997, which now includes programs in Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana. She was instrumental in establishing the Institute for African Studies at UGA in 2001 and oversaw the new minor in African studies, which was instituted in 2004.
“We are so delighted that Dr. Moshi has received a University Professorship,” said Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin ­College of Arts and Sciences. “She has for years been a leader in global education, and this honor recognizes her remarkable work.”
Moshi has authored or co-authored five books, including The Pedagogy of African Languages: An Emerging Field. She is currently working on a new book, Democracy and Culture: An African Perspective. She is the author of more than 35 scholarly articles and has received grant support for numerous projects. The latest, for $240,000, is a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hayes Groups Project Study Abroad grant. This grant supports intensive language and culture instruction in Tanzania. The program selects 13 students from different universities in the U.S. to participate in an eight-week program.

Moshi has taught many courses in linguistics and Swahili at UGA and has developed a number of multimedia works, including a series of videos intended to help students acquire the Swahili language and culture.