Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach

Research Affiliate

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach is a social anthropologist who obtained her D.Phil. in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2005.

Between 2005 and 2015, she held several positions as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Oxford, at the School of Anthropology and the African Studies Centre. She is currently a senior lecturer in African Studies at University College London.

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach’s research focuses on Senegal, and has developed into two main strands:

  1. Performance in Senegal and Francophone West Africa
  2. Transnational families and marriage migration between Senegal and Europe

Performance in Francophone West Africa (2002-ongoing)

For the first strand of research, Hélène Neveu Kringelbach has carried out research on dance in urban Senegal. The emphasis of her work is on the relationship between changing forms of musical and choreographic performance on the one hand, and changing notions of self, morality and success on the other. The research also looks at the ways in which morality and gender relations are debated through commentary on popular dance forms, and at regionalist politics in Senegal as negotiated through neo-traditional performance. In addition, contemporary dance in Senegal and elsewhere in Africa is explored a playing field of French foreign policy on the continent.

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach’s book coming out of this dance research, Dance Circles: Movement, Morality and Self-Fashioning in Urban Senegal (Berghahn Books, 2013) was awarded the 2013 Amaury Talbot Prize in African Anthropology by the Royal Anthropological Institute, and a Special Citation in the 2013 de la Torre Bueno Award in Dance Scholarship by the Society of Dance History Scholars.

Current research on performance explores issues coming out of this work, including:

  • the global circulation of West African choreographic practices
  • contemporary dance in Africa and French foreign policy

Transnational families and marriage migration between Francophone West Africa and Europe (2011-ongoing)

In 2011-13 Hélène Neveu Kringelbach was the leader of a new research project entitled ‘Multinational families and creolized practices: Euro-Senegalese cases,’ one of 11 projects in the Leverhulme-funded Oxford Diaspora Programme (ODP).

In coastal Senegal, Euro-African marriage dates back to the early days of the transatlantic trade, but with different class- and gender inflections over time. The project was concerned with the making of relatedness in transnational families between Senegal, France and the UK, with a particular focus on the negotiation of cultural, religious and linguistic difference. More recently, the project has also involved examining the interplay between migration rules and family practices, in a context in which European states increasingly regard bi-national marriage with suspicion.

Although the ODP was formally completed in December 2015, the research is ongoing. She carries out fieldwork in Senegal, France and the UK.

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