Dr Helene Neveu Kringelbach

Dr Helene Neveu Kringelbach

Associate Professor of African Anthropology

Dept of Anthropology

Faculty of S&HS

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2015

Research summary

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach’s research focuses on Francophone West Africa, and particularly Senegal.

Her research has developed into two main strands:

1.    Performance in Francophone West Africa and in migration contexts

2.    Transnational families and marriage migration between Senegal and Europe

Performance in Francophone West Africa and in migration contexts (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 focuses on the politics of West African choreographic practices in a global context. 

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, this research project is ongoing, with a monograph in preparation.

Teaching summary

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach has taught Social Anthropology at both graduate and undergraduate levels, and African Studies at a graduate level. She also has extensive supervision experience at all levels (BA, MSc, MPhil and DPhil).

In 2015-19 she taught on UCL’s core courses in African Studies (CMII0001 - Dialogues Between Africa’s Past and Present, CMII0003 - Research Methods in African Studies, and CMII0002 - Debating Africa’s Future).

She has also taught several option modules for CMII graduate programmes (CMII0005 and CMII0007 - Performance, Visual Media and Popular Culture in Africa; CMII0019 - Modern Social Theory), for SELCS's BA in Comparative Literature (LITC0009 - Music, Film and Media in Africa and LITC0018 - Anthropology and Literature), and for UCL Anthropology's BA programmes (ANTH0184 - The Anthropology of Music and Performance).

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach also teaches guest lectures for the MSc in Global Migration and for the MA in Gender Studies and Representations.

Her teaching interests include: the anthropology of dance, music and performance more generally; the anthropology of West Africa; transnational families, gender and migration, families and European immigration policies; anthropology and literature; popular culture and contemporary arts in Africa.


University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2005
University of Oxford
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2000


Hélène Neveu Kringelbach is a social anthropologist who obtained her D.Phil. in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2005.
Prior to studying Anthropology, following a first degree in Business Studies from the Nancy Business School in France she moved to Copenhagen where she worked for several years in industrial marketing and strategic analysis.
Between 2005 and 2015, Hélène Neveu Kringelbach held several positions as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Oxford, at the School of Anthropology and the African Studies Centre. She joined UCL in August 2015.