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College of Fine Arts Research Profiles

Victoria Rovine
School of Art + Art History

Associate Professor
T: 273-3069

College of Fine Arts
University of Florida
PO Box 115801
Gainesville, FL 32601-5801

View Biography

Research Interests:

Africa, textiles, contemporary art

Research Summary:

Rovine studies clothing and textiles as contemporary art forms in Africa. She has conducted extensive research in Mali, where she explored the revival of traditional textiles as part of the contemporary art and fashion scenes in that country. Her book on the subject, Bogolan: Shaping Culture through Cloth in Contemporary Mali, was published by Smithsonian Institution Press in 2001 and is being republished in spring 2008 by Indiana University Press. She has also published numerous book chapters and articles on African fashion design, textiles, and contemporary arts in Africa. Her current research concerns African fashion designers in global markets, and African influences on Western fashion design.


PhD art history, Indiana University, 1998
MA art history, Indian University, 1991
BA art, Grinnell College, 1986


2009 “Embroidered Cultures in West Africa: Viewing Travel, Text, and Tradition through Malian Garments,” Broder et Raconter: Embroidery and Storytelling, University of Rouen, France
2009 organizer and presenter: “Recycling in African Art: Necessity, Metaphor, Creative Expression,” symposium at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
2009 “Strangelove: Social Action through Fashion in South Africa,” Dress, Popular Culture and Social Action in Africa (Symposium marking 60th anniversary of African Studies Program), Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
2008 “Fashion and Power: African Styles and Colonial Encounters,” Humanities Seminar Series, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Selected Works:

2009 “Colonialism’s Clothing: Africa, France, and the Deployment of Fashion,” Design Issues. 25 (3): 44-61.
2009 “Viewing Africa through Fashion,” Introduction to special issue, edited by V. Rovine, Fashion Theory. 13 (2): 133-140. n.d. “Fashion, Youth, and Travel: Embroidered Representations of Modernity in Mali” in African Dress and Social Action. Edited by Karen Tranberg Hansen and D. Soyini Madison. University of Chicago Press. Submitted.
2009 “Africas on the Runway: The View from Obama America” in Nine Takes: Voices and Images from Ten Years of South African Fashion Week. Edited by Anthony Tischhauser. Johannesburg, SouthAfrica: Channel F. Publishing. Also published in excerpted form in the Mail and Guardian (South Africa’s major English-language newspaper), April 3, 2009.
2007 “Handmade Textiles: Manufacturing African Authenticity,” in Dress Sense: Emotional and Sensory Experiences of the Body and Clothes. Edited by Donald Johnson and Helen Bradley Foster. London: Berg Press. pp. 133-144.


2009 Faculty Enhancement Opportunity, funding for research in Mali
2009 Pasold Research Fund Grant (British textile research council)
2008 Center for African Studies, University of Florida Curriculum Development Award, [For research in Timbuktu, Mali, summer 2008]


2007 University of Florida International Educator of the Year, junior faculty category (Two awards per year, one senior and one junior faculty member)


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