Professor, Art History
Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History
Christopher D. Roy received a B.A. from St. Lawrence University (1970) and a Ph.D. (1979) in African art history from Indiana University. He is Professor of Art History and Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History. His first visit to Africa was as a student in 1966, when he traveled from Paris to Jerusalem through Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. He visited a Bedouin festival in El-Oued and met lots of black people from south of the Sahara, and so when he applied to the Peace Corps he asked to be sent to Black Africa. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso from 1970-72 with his wife Nora. Professor Roy teaches courses in African, pre-Columbian, American Indian and Pacific Islands art. His research focuses on the art of Burkina Faso and West Africa. Recent publications include a book, Land of the Flying Masks: Art and Culture of Burkina Faso (2007), Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Collection (1997), Art and Life in Africa: Selections from the Stanley Collection (1984), and Art of the Upper Volta Rivers (1987). In 1994-97 he created a CD-ROM program titled "Art and Life in Africa" that has been distributed to colleges and high schools across the nation. In the last decade he has made fourteen research trips to Burkina Faso and Ghana to gather material for twenty-five DVDs about African art in social context marketed for classroom use.
Professor Roy is founder and director of the Program for Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa (PASALA), which provides scholarships for graduate course work and research in Africa, as well as for conferences and publications on African art. PASALA has hosted twelve international conferences on African art at The University of Iowa since 1979. To date, twenty-six students at major institutions all over America have received Ph.D.s supervised by Professor Roy.