Patrick Royer holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. His area of interest focuses on West Africa where he has conducted ethnographic studies for many years.
His research interests include past and recent religious prophetic movements in Africa, religious conversion, and local religious beliefs and practices in a global world. His research on religion have been published in journals including Africa (London) and Cahiers d’études africaines (Paris).
A different area of research investigated the French colonial conquest and the largest revolt fought against a colonial power in West Africa. This type of conflicts addresses issues such as nation-building, pacification, and relations between technology, culture, and war. It is part of a field known as “War and Society” that deals with the social and cultural dimensions of war rather than with military operations. Results of this research has been published in journal articles, encyclopedia, and in two books, West African Challenge to Empire (co-authored with Mahir Saul), Ohio University Press, which was awarded the Amaury Talbot Prize of the Royal Anthropological Society). The second book, La guerre en miroir, conquête et pacification au Soudan Occidental [War, Conquest, and Pacification in Western Sudan] published in 2019, received the Robert Cornevin Prize from the Académie des sciences d’outre-mer in Paris.