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Professor, Harvard University

John M. Mugane is the Director of the African Language program in the Department of African and African American Studies. He is a linguist specializing in African languages and is the Professor of the Practice of African Languages and Cultures at Harvard University. Mugane has been the Director of the language program since 2003 developing the teaching of African languages and cultures.

Mugane is the author of The Story of Swahili (Ohio University Press, 2015); Linguistic Description:Typology and Representation of African Languages in Trends in African Linguistics (Vol. 5, Africa World Press, 2003); Tujifunze Kiswahili Let's Learn Swahili (Aramati Digital Publications, 1999); and A Paradigmatic Grammar of Gikuyu Stanford Monographs on African Languages (Will Leben (ed.), CSLI Publications, Stanford Univ., 1997). Among his published works are papers on Bantu languages, linguistics, and instructional technology.Mugane's research interests include Bantu linguistics, African languages, computer mediated language instruction, grammar documentation, and pedagogy.

Mugane received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Arizona, Tucson (1997) and his M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio University (1991). A graduate of Kenyatta University in Kenya, B.Ed. in Languages, Literature, and Linguistics (1987), he also earned an M.A. in International Affairs, African Studies (1991) at Ohio University.

Mugane's current projects include the Africa's Sources of Knowledge Digital Library (ASK-DL) and the Enhanced Language Instruction for African Studies (ELIAS).


  • –present
    Professor, Harvard University