Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach
Oxford Diaspora Programme Research Fellow

 Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach completed her D.Phil. in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2005. She held an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship in 2005-06, followed by a Departmental Lecturership in African Studies in 2006-08. From 2008 to 2011, she held a teaching post as the Evans Pritchard Departmental Lecturer in African Anthropology (shared post between the African Studies Centre and the School of Anthropology), in association with St Anne’s College.

 Dr Neveu Kringelbach’s doctoral research focused on dance, morality politics and social mobility in Dakar, Senegal. A monograph building further on this work is forthcoming with Berghahn Books (Nov. 2013). An ethnographic and historical study of dance troupes and popular dances in Dakar, the book explores various genres and social contexts, from women’s dances during neighbourhood events and family ceremonies to ‘contemporary’ choreography, through popular dance videos and neo-traditional performance. This reveals the many ways in which young city dwellers use bodily skills to access different social worlds. People engage simultaneously with different movement practices, and these emerge as strategies for social and spatial mobility, spaces of individual creativity and festive antidotes to the uncertainty of life. The study also keeps an eye out for the problematic status of the performing profession in a predominantly Muslim society, and the insertion of African performers into global artistic circuits.

 Dr Neveu Kringelbach is currently conducting research on Euro-Senegalese families in France, the UK and Senegal. This 2-year study is one of 11 projects in the Leverhulme-funded Oxford Diasporas Programme.

 This project aims at exploring processes of family-making in a diasporic context, from a gendered perspective and over several generations. It also explores religious transmission and the negotiation of religious practice within transnational families. Given the increase in bi-national marriages in much of Europe and the growing numbers of citizens who define themselves or their children as ‘mixed’, there is a need for a historically grounded, holistic study of these families. Families are indeed a privileged lens through which processes of creolization and social convergence, as well as processes of exclusion, can be explored. This is particularly urgent in a European context in which transnational marriage is being targeted by increasingly restrictive immigration policies. The Senegalese-European case lends itself well to exploring the impact of diasporas on family-making over time thanks to a long history of marriage to Europeans in the Senegambian region. 

 Dr Neveu Kringelbach’s teaching interests include the Anthropology of West Africa; the Anthropology of dance, music, theatre and popular culture; African migration and diasporas; Transnational families; Migration and religion; African photography and film; Contemporary African arts; the Anthropology of the Body.

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