Fallou Ngom

Faculty Profiles

Fallou Ngom

see fieldwork photos

Professor of Anthropology and Director of the African Studies Center

ngomOffice: 232 Bay State Road, #507
Office Phone: 617-353-7305
E-mail: fngom@bu.edu

Fall 2018: T 2:00-3:00; by appointment

Dr. Fallou Ngom’s current research interests include the interactions between African languages and non-African languages, the Africanization of Islam, and Ajami literatures—records of West African languages written in Arabic script. He hopes to help train the first generation of American scholars to have direct access into the wealth of knowledge still buried in West African Ajami literatures, and the historical, cultural, and religious heritage that has found expression in this manner.

Another fascinating area of Dr. Ngom’s work is language analysis in asylum cases, a sub-field of the new field of forensic linguistics. His work in this field addresses the intricacies of using knowledge of varied West African languages and dialects to evaluate the claims of migrants applying for asylum and determine if the person is actually from the country that he or she claims.

Dr. Ngom’s work has appeared in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language Variation and Change, and African Studies Review, among others.

View Professor Ngom’s CV

For More:
» View a Boston Sunday Globe article on Dr. Ngom’s research.
» View a Bostonia magazine article about Dr. Ngom’s research.
» Hear an interview with Dr. Ngom on BBC.


PhD French Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002
MA French Linguistics, University of Montana, 1996-97
Maîtrise d’anglais Grammaire et Linguistique, Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Senegal), 1996
Licence d’anglais Grammaire et Linguistique, Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Senegal), 1994
DEUG d’anglais Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Senegal), 1993


  • French Written, spoken (fluent)
  • English Written, spoken (fluent)
  • Wolof Written, spoken (native)
  • Mandinka Written, spoken (fluent)
  • Pula(a)r Written, spoken (fluent)
  • Arabic Written, spoken (conversational)
  • Portuguese Creole Written, spoken (fluent) (Lingua franca in Guinea Bissau)
  • Sereer Conversational
  • Jóola (Foñi) Conversational
  • Spanish Conversational
  • Mankagne Conversational
  • Latin Good knowledge (reading and writing)