Published: April 8, 2024

Ann Roy is the subject of a new student-curated exhibition opening April 19 at the CU Art Museum (CUAM). It will feature materials from the Ann Roy papers, a collection in the University Libraries Rare and Distinctive Collections (RaD) of writings, art, fashion, sound recordings and Super-8 films spanning 70 years of work by the Tulsa-born poet, mystic and political activist Ann Roy. 

The exhibit, entitled “Patriarchosis," will also contain photography and art from CUAM collections by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Linda Conner, Judy Dater and Mary Ellen Mark. The exhibition was curated by students of CINE 4010 class with their professor, Emilie Upczak. A digital exhibit, "The Ann Roy Collection," was also curated by Upczak and designed by Melanie Archer. The exhibit is supported by the Center for Humanities & the Arts, the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship, Department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts, the President’s Fund for Humanities, RaD and the Center for Documentary and Ethnographic Media.

“The Ann Roy papers offer students, researchers and artists perspectives on history that are important for us to move forward in an aware and sustainable way,” said Upczak, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts. “The archive is unique and vast, and while we have begun to digitize it, there is so much more in the collection to uncover.”


Patriarchosis is a term invented by Ann Roy to encapsulate the many ways that 4000 years of  patriarchy is internalized and distorts our psyches, cultures and societies. 

“We selected photographers and artists contemporary to Ann Roy from the collection at the CUAM,” said Bailey Walker, a student in CINE 4010. “We focused on works that revealed or resonated with patriarchosis and the spiritualism that was such a part of Roy’s work. Roy was very prolific and there were a lot of interesting pieces in the archive that we made the hard choice not to exhibit.”

Who was Ann Roy?

Ann Roy is American artist, activist, poet, feminist and student of liberation theology who lived in Mexico from 1958 until her death in 2006. 

She founded a women's textile cooperative in Marfil, Guanajuato, and taught at Ivan Illich's CIDOC (Centro Internacional de Documentacion), a higher education campus for development workers and missionaries in Cuernavaca, where she was the first to give a course on Women in Mexico. 

She translated into English a book about the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua (Los Tambores de Monimbo by Cesar Arias), and continued to gather and translate testimonies from Nicaragua and the Zapatistas under the pseudonym, Fair Witness. 

She died at the age of 80.