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Victoria Rovine

Dr Victoria L. Rovine is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her recent research is focused on African fashion design. Her book African Fashion Global Style: Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear was published by Indiana University Press in 2015. The book is the first focused analysis of African fashion design, as well as the first academic study of Africa’s influence on Western fashion.

Much previous work on African dress has taken an anthropological approach, with an emphasis on continuity and convention rather than creativity and change. African Fashion Global Style explores how innovators use clothing to reflect new influences, changing cultures, and artistic creativity. Her first book, Bogolan: Shaping Culture Through Cloth in Contemporary Mali (Indiana University Press, 2008) explored the shifting forms and meanings of a textile genre in contemporary West Africa.

Recent publications

Rovine, V. 2015.  African Fashion Global Style: Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear (Indiana University Press).

Rovine, V. 2015.   “Textiles et Croyances: les tissus africains et les practiques religieux,” in La Culture et la Religion en Afrique: perspectives pluridisciplinaires.  Edited by Issiaka Latoundji Lalèyê. Dakar, Senegal: Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique.

Rovine, V. 2014. First Word: Kongo Atlantic Dialogues. African Arts 47 (3):1-5.

Rovine, V. 2013. Fashion, youth, and travel: embroidered representations of modernity in Mali, in African dress encounters: fashion, agency, power, edited by KT Hansen & DS Madison. London: Berg Press: 124-137.

Rovine, V. 2013. African fashion from dual directions: representing self and other, in Fashion-Wise, edited by M Vaccarella with JL Foltyn. Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press: 259-266.

Recent conference papers

Rovine, V. 2015. Networks of threads: Africa, textiles, and routes of exchange. Paper presented at a roundtable forming part of Global Africa, African Studies Association, San Diego, CA, 19-22 November.

Rovine, V. 2015. Style migrations: tracing South-South networks through African dress practices. Paper presented at South-South Axes of Global Art/Circulations artistiques Sud-Sud conference, École normale supérieure, Paris, 17-19 June.

Rovine, V. 2015. Creating West Africa in Paris: bureaucrats, artisans, and the 1937 Exposition Internationale. Paper presented as part of the ‘At the Expositions: An Art History of National Displays of Culture, Technology, Design’ conference, College Art Association, New York City, NY, 13 February.

Rovine, V. 2015. South African fashion design: location, history, and narrative. Paper presented at the Journeys of Reconciliation: The New South, the New South Africa, and Nelson Mandela seminar, Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 7 February.