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About Rollins

MacKenzie Moon Ryan, PhD

Associate Professor of Art History

MacKenzie Moon Ryan

I am an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art & Art History at Rollins College. I earned my Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Florida in 2013 and 2008 respectively and have twice studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

I teach a broad range of courses in Art History, including courses on African art, global art, the history of fashion, and museum studies. I am particularly interested in textiles, fashion, trade, colonialism, cross-cultural exchange, and the collection and display of artworks.

My research focuses on global networks of trade, African textiles and fashion--especially kanga cloth--and consumption of commodities. I have published articles and essays on the history of kanga cloth and I am an editor of the scholarly journal, African Arts (distributed by MIT Press).




  • Ph.D., African art history, School of Art + Art History, College of Fine Arts, University of Florida, 2013
  • M.A., African art history, School of Art + Art History, College of Fine Arts, University of Florida, 2008
  • B.A., Art History and History, College of Liberal Arts, Hamline University, 2006; Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Academic Positions

Associate Professor of Art History
Department of Art & Art History, Rollins College
2019 - present

Assistant Professor of Art History
Department of Art & Art History, Rollins College
2013 - 2019

American Dissertation Fellow
American Association of University Women (AAUW), Washington, D.C.
2012 - 2013

Graduate Fellow
School of Art + Art History, University of Florida
2008 - 2012

Fellow, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) in Swahili
United States Department of Education 
2009 - 2011

Articles and Essays

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “Women in Fashion and Textiles.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Women’s History, Oxford Reference Encyclopedia of African History, 1-27. Oxford University Press, 2020.

  • Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “The Art of the Trade: Merchant and Production Networks of Kanga Cloth in the Colonial Era.” In World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean, edited by Prita Meier and Allyson Purpura, 289-309. Champaign, IL: Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018. Scholarly Exhibition Catalogue, distributed by University of Washington Press.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “Converging Trades and New Technologies: The Emergence of Kanga Textiles on the Swahili Coast in the late nineteenth century.” In Textile Trades, Consumer Cultures, and the Material Worlds of the Indian Ocean: An Ocean of Cloth, edited by Pedro Machado, Gwyn Campbell and Sarah Fee, 253-286. Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies. London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “A Decade of Design: The Global Invention of the Kanga, 1876-1886.” Textile History. Special issue “Entangled Histories: Translocal Textile Trades in Eastern Africa, c. 1100 to the early twentieth century,” edited by Sarah Fee and Pedro Machado. Vol. 48, No. 1 (spring 2017): 101-32. Distributed by Taylor & Francis.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “Kanga Textile Design, Education, and Production in contemporary Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.” Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings, 424-33. Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port. Textile Society of America's 15th Biennial Symposium, Savannah, GA, October 19-23, 2016. Open-access publication; University of Lincoln Digital Commons, 2016:

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “From unbleached to indigo-dyed to printed synthetics: an explosion of color and pattern in cotton textiles produced for the east African market in the late 19th century.” In Colour, vol. 4, edited by Christine Checinska, Bharti Parmar, Riikka Räisänen, and Nicola Stylianou. Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles, edited by Vivienne Richmond and Janis Jefferies. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2024.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “Kanga Cloths at Vlisco: An Object-Based Study of Dutch Printing for the Colonial East African Market, 1867-1971.” African Arts. Special Issue: “African Textiles, Fashionable Textiles,” edited by MacKenzie Moon Ryan. Vol. 56, no. 3 (Autumn 2023): 56-71.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “African Textiles, Fashionable Textiles: An Introduction.” Special Issue: “African Textiles, Fashionable Textiles,” edited by MacKenzie Moon Ryan. African Arts, Vol. 56, no. 3 (Autumn 2023): 6-7.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon, editor. Special Issue: “African Textiles, Fashionable Textiles,” African Arts Vol. 56, no. 3 (Autumn 2023).

Curatorial Projects

  • Consultant, Social Fabric: African Textiles TodayThe British Museum, London, United Kingdom, 14 February – 21 April 2013
    • Donated six kanga cloth sketches, 2012,2026.1-6, designed by K.G. Peera, aka Miwani Mdogo, ca. 1960s collected Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2011, associated with C. Itoh & Co., Japanese merchant-converter firm.
    • Sketch 2012,2026.1 and research featured in exhibition and illustrated in publication,
      African Textiles Today, by Chris Spring (London: The British Museum Press, 2012), 128
    • Subsequently on view: William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, 20 Feb – 29 May 2016
      • Ipswich Museum, Ipswich 19 Sep 2015 – 22 Jan 2016
      • Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter, 26 May – 6 Sep 2015 
      • Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, 14 Feb – 17 May 2015 
  • Consultant, Africa Interweave: Textile DiasporasSamuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 8 February – 8 May 2011
    • Donated six kanga textiles, 2012.38.1-6, collected Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2010 
    • Kanga 2012.38.6 and research featured in exhibition and illustrated in catalogue,
    • Africa Interweave: Textile Diasporas, edited by Susan Cooksey (Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2011), 128
    • Subsequently on view: Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH, 28 September 2013 – 12 January 2014

Artwork Entries 

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “Yinka Shonibare.” In Art for Rollins, vol. 4. Rollins Museum of Art, 2023.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “13 African Masks.” In My Name Is Maryan. edited by Alison M. Gingeras. Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami/Koenig Books, 2023, 7.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. “William Kentridge.” In Art Encounters: Selections from the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, 51-52. Scala Arts Publishers, 2019.


Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. Symposium panel: “Trade in Cotton and Manufactured Cloth from Europe, to Africa, to North America,” Textile Society of America (TSA) 15th Biennial Symposium, Crosscurrents: Land, Labor and the Port, Savannah, GA, 28, no. 2 (2016): 23.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. Exhibition: Kabas and Couture: Contemporary Ghanaian Fashion, Harn Museum of Art. African Arts. 49, no. 2 (2016): 86-9.

Ryan, MacKenzie Moon. Book: The Politics of Dress in Somali Culture, by Heather Marie Akou. Museum Anthropology Review. 9, no. 2 (2015): 183-5.

Moon, MacKenzie, Eugenia S. Martinez, Courtnay Micots, and Amy Schwartzott. Symposium: “Global Africa: Through the Lens of Visual Culture, Fourteenth Triennial Symposium on African Art.” African Arts 41, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 8-11.

Moon, MacKenzie, and Robin Poynor. Exhibition: Resonance and Inspiration: New Works by Magdalene Odundo, Harn Museum of Art. African Arts 40, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 86-7.

professor mackenzie moon ryan

Introduction to African Art

Introduces archaeological, historical, modern, and contemporary works of African art in their aesthetic, cultural, and historical contexts. Examines sculpture, masquerade, textiles, painting, photography, architecture, and personal objects.

African Art and the City

Explores African art through the lens of historical and contemporary cities. Examines the visual art--architecture to royal sculpture to contemporary mixed media works--from a different 20 African cities. Situates artworks and artists within their urban place and time. 

Fashion in Africa

Traces African fashion from cloth to everyday clothing and high fashion catwalks between the 19th century and the present. Surveys techniques of cloth production, pattern creation, and tailored styles across the continent. Explores how African dress reveals information about culture, history, political systems, religious worship, gendered relations, and social organization.

African Art and Colonialism

Studies late 19th- and early 20th-century African art within the context of European colonialism. Focuses on episodes of change and collection in Africa and display and reception in Europe. Pays particular attention to influence of European colonialism on pre-existing African artistic traditions, social structures, power dynamics, gender relations, and religions. 

Global Trade in African Textiles

Uses African women’s insatiable desire for fashionable textiles as a nexus to understand global trade. Explores the rise and fall of colonial powers in east Africa through an investigation of cloth trading relationships. Analyzes how trading relationships transformed east African religious, cultural, political and economic systems through conspicuous consumption and displays of self.

The Art History of African Apparel 

Explores the art history of apparel in Africa, ca. 1850 to the present. Uses clothing as an inclusive window into African societies. Focuses on worn garments—textiles, jewelry, headwear, accessories, and clothing—as the product of love, labor, and significant investment. Situates sartorial displays in their historical, cultural, religious, and political realities, which change over time.

Museum Studies Practicum

Examines the development of museums, interrogates issues of display, and exposes students to professional museum work. Compels students to practically apply art history skills in service of a professional exhibition at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.

Introduction to Global Art

Introduces art from the Islamic world, South and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Oceania, Africa, and the native Americas from early times to the present. Examines sculpture, painting, architecture, pottery, book arts, textiles, photography, and other visual art forms, emphasizing the relationship between form and function within an historical context.

Fashion in the Global World

Examines the western history of fashion and case studies from the global world using artworks to explore influences and trace designs across the globe. Highlights the kimono, the codpiece, the corset, the three-piece suit, the qipao, the hijab, wax-print, and denim jeans.

Global Borrowings in Art

Explores artworks as the visual ramifications when cultures interact. Focuses on case studies from the global world of artistic traditions that are the product of episodes of global interaction or consciously borrow elements from previous artworks.

Art for Rollins

Focuses on visual art at Rollins to explore the cultural dynamics of collecting, the ethics of purchasing, acquiring, owning, contextualizing, and issues involved in displaying artwork on campus. Provides overview of artworks at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and its Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art.

Fashion through Film 

Explores how fashions chart social change from ca. 1850-2010s. Analyzes how rising hemlines in the 1920s led to a plethora of casual styles in the 2010s by examining fashion history texts and applying them to popular film. Connects clothing to individuals’  lived experiences, who display aspects of their identities through their sartorial choices. Bring popcorn.

Art in Orlando

Explores artworks, the creation of art collections, and the elevation of artistic culture in Orlando. Takes place entirely in local museums and art collections, with visits to the Alfond, Morse, Polasek, OMA, Mennello, Casa Feliz, Art & History Museums Maitland, Snap! Space, UCF, Crealdé, Hannibal Square, and other private galleries and public art.

Making Any Major Marketable

Develops students’ abilities to discuss their academic, co-curricular, internship, and employment experiences cogently. Includes discussion of résumés, cover letters, professional networking, interviewing, online presence, and graduate school. 

mackenzie moon ryan class

Home School

For residents of Ward Hall, the successful transition to college is made easier by the art professor, former valedictorian, and outgoing toddler who live on the first floor.
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professor mackenzie moon ryan

Allies in Inquiry

This past summer, students and faculty joined forces in tackling some of their fields’ toughest issues as part of Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program.
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sitting at lake eola for class

Liberal Arts in Action

Many of our industrious students cut their winter breaks short to participate in Intersession, a weeklong course dedicated to an intriguing topic not typically covered during the regular semester.
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Rollins Inducts 23 New Members of Phi Beta Kappa

Rollins students join 17 U.S. presidents, 42 U.S. Supreme Court justices, and more than 150 Nobel Laureates as members of America’s most prestigious academic honor society. 
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Rollins Inducts First Members of New Phi Beta Kappa Chapter

The Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society officially installs a new chapter at the College, a historic milestone that affirms the value of a Rollins education and the importance of our mission.
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