Professor of Art History | Dept Co-Chair AY 2024-25

Dr. Ryan specializes in the history of African and global art, with particular interest in textiles, fashion, trade, colonialism, cross-cultural exchange, and museum studies. Her research focuses on global networks of trade, African textiles and fashion, especially kanga cloth, and consumption of commodities to create conceptions of self. She teaches undergraduate art history courses on African art, global art, the history of fashion, and museum studies

Dr. Ryan is also on the editorial board of the scholarly journal, African Arts, as a part of the University of Florida Consortium.


B.A. Hamline University, 2006
M.A. University of Florida, 2008
Ph.D. University of Florida, 2013

Courses Taught

Articles and Essays

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. Editor’s Introduction to Special Issue: “African Textiles, Fashionable Textiles.” African Arts. Vol. 56, no. 3 (Autumn 2023), 6-7.

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

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. “The Emergence of the Kanga: A Distinctly East African Textile.” In Africa Interweave: Textile Diasporas, edited by Susan Cooksey, 128-31. Gainesville, FL: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, 2011.

Curatorial Projects

​​Curator, African Apparel: Threaded Transformations across the 20th Century, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, now Rollins Museum of Art, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, 18 January - 17 May 2020

Consultant, Social Fabric: African Textiles Today, The 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 Diasporas, Samuel 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.

News & Features

Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony at Rollins College.

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.

Induction ceremony for Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Rollins.

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.

College students hang out in their professor’s unit in Rollins’ Ward Hall.

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.

Ashley Cannaday in the lab with students.

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.

Students sitting on a large-scale sculpture in downtown Orlando

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.