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Professor, African Art History
Director, African Studies CenterVictoria Rovine
Adjunct Faculty, Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies.


Victoria L. Rovine specializes in African art with a focus on African textiles and dress practices, and on Africa’s presence in Western visual culture, particularly in early twentieth century Europe. She received her MA and PhD from Indiana University. Prof. Rovine has conducted research in Mali since the early 1990s, and has also worked in Senegal, South Africa, Ghana, and elsewhere in Africa.

Her first book, Bogolan: Shaping Culture Through Cloth in Contemporary Mali (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001; republished by Indiana University Press, 2008) traces the many manifestations of a distinctively Malian textile in Bamako’s fine art, tourist art, and fashion markets. Her second book, African Fashion, Global Style: Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear (Indiana University Press, 2015) explores the innovations of African designers, the changing roles and meanings of historical dress styles in Africa, and the influences of African style on European fashion design, past and present. The book aims to expand conventional definitions of fashion design, and to bring Africa fully into the story of global fashion design. She has published widely on African fashion designers, contemporary African artists, and the representation of Africa in Europe through visual culture.

Prof. Rovine’s courses include:
–Clothing and Textiles in Africa
–Art, Culture, and Power in Africa
–Islam and African Art
–Contemporary African Art
–Art and Colonialism: France/Africa
–Survey of African Art
–Arts of West Africa Art
–Arts of Southern Africa

Before coming to UNC, Prof. Rovine taught in the Art History and African Studies programs at the University of Florida (2005-2014), and served as the curator of African and other non-Western art at the University of Iowa Museum of Art (1995-2004).

Victoria Rovine: The universality of textiles from IAH on Vimeo.



In progress Cloth Colonialism: Cultures of Cotton in France and French West Africa

African Fashion Global Style: Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

Bogolan: Shaping Culture Through Cloth in Contemporary Mali. Republished with new preface, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Bogolan: Shaping Culture Through Cloth in Contemporary Mali. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Edited Journals
Guest editor, Fashion Theory. Special issue on African fashion. 13 #2 (June).

Journal Articles
In press “Behind the Mask: African Art History in a Pandemic Era,” African Arts 55 #4: 1-2, 4-5.

“Pith and Power: Colonial Style in France and French West Africa,” Journal of Material Culture 27 #3: 1-33.

“A Wider Loom?: French Colonial Preoccupations with West African Weaving,” African Arts 52 #4: 66-83.

“African Visual Cultures and Colonial Histories: An Expanding Field” African Arts 52 #4: 12-17. (Introduction to a special issue on colonial-era visual culture)

“Adornment, Dress, and African Arts of the Body.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Art History. Ed. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann. New York: Oxford University Press.

Co-authored with Lisa Homann and Carol Magee, “Future Thinking: Propositions and Possibilities for African Art History,” African Arts 50 #4: 1-2, 5.

Book and Catalogue Chapters

“Afterword: African Fashion, Cities, and the Modernity of Tradition” in Fashioning the Afropolis: Histories, Materialities and Aesthetic Practices. Edited by Kerstin Pinther, Kristin Kastner, Basile Ndjio. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing: 208-215.

“Crafting Colonial Power: Weaving and Empire in France and Afrique Occidentale Française,” in Rhapsodic Objects: Art, Agency, and Materiality (1700-2000). Edited by Yaëlle Biro and Noémie Étienne. Berlin: De Gruyter: 171-194.

“Colonies and Clothing: The Uses of Fashion at the Intersection of France and West Africa,” in Fashion, Performance, and Performativity. Edited by Andrea Kollnitz and Marco Pecorari. London: I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2021: 115-132.

“Colonial Time,” in Time in Fashion: Industrial, Antilinear, and Uchronic Temporalities. Edited by Caroline Evans and Alessandra Vaccari. New York: Bloomsbury, 2020: 92-95. [Reprinted section from African Fashion Global Style: Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015].

“Woven Beliefs: Textiles and Religious Practice in Africa,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Materiality. Edited by Vasudha Narayanan. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell: 316-328.

“Arrayed in Splendor: The View from Africa,” in Arrayed in Splendor: Art, Fashion, and Textiles in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Edited by Christoph Brachmann. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers: 219-223.

“African Fashion Design and the Mobilization of Tradition,” in A Companion to Contemporary Design Since 1945. Edited by Anne Massey. West Sussex, UK: Wiley Blackwell: 91-110.

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