Kathleen Keller


Professor in History and Director in African Studies

Professor Kathleen Keller specializes in the history of connections between France and West Africa in the 20th century, especially related to colonialism. Her current research is on the life of a curious character in French history--Mamadou Kane, a Senegalese man who embarked on a variety of adventures in 20th c. France as a prince, wizard, and charlatan.

Dr. Keller's first book Colonial Suspects: Suspicion, Imperial Rule, and Colonial Society in Interwar French West Africawas published in April 2018 by University of Nebraska Press. It recounts the surveillance of "suspicious persons" by French colonial police in the interwar era. The book delves into the politics of colonial rule, the role of the "civilizing mission," and understandings of urban people and space.

Prof. Keller has also published articles in the journals French Historical Studies, French Colonial History, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History.

She recently published an essay about anti-colonial protest in the Washington Post.

Prof. Keller teaches courses on Africa, Europe, women's history, world history, and imperialism. 


Ph.D. History, Rutgers University; B.A. History and French, University of Notre Dame

Areas of Expertise

colonialism, France, West Africa, and world history


cooking, travel, reading, and history

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HIS-150 Modern Africa 11 2021/FA, 2020/FA, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2013/FA, and 2011/FA
HIS-120 Europe 1648-Present 7 2022/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2015/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/FA
HIS-105 World History 6 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2014/FA, and 2012/FA
HIS-251 Memorializing Mau Mau 5 2021/FA, 2018/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/SP, and 2012/FA
HIS-200 History Seminar 4 2022/SP, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, and 2018/SP
HIS-300 Research Seminar 4 2020/FA, 2020/SP, 2017/FA, and 2015/SP
HIS-397 Honors Tutorial II 3 2021/SP, 2020/SP, and 2019/SP
HIS-201 Empire and Culture 3 2019/SP, 2013/FA, and 2012/SP
HIS-350 Apartheid 2 2022/SP and 2019/FA
FTS-100 FTS:Surveillance 2 2021/FA and 2016/FA
HIS-312 France Under the Nazis 2 2021/SP and 2017/SP
CUR-115 Understanding the Past 2 2021/SP
HIS-226 European Women 2 2020/SP and 2013/SP
HIS-344 ST:Apartheid 2 2017/FA and 2014/FA
CUR-110 Historical Perspective II 2 2013/SP
HIS-396 Honors Tutorial I 1 2019/FA