Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Africana Research Center

Elyan Jeanine Hill, Ph.D.

Elyan Jeanine Hill, Ph.D.

Elyan Jeanine Hill, Ph.D.

2019- 2020 Post-Doctoral Scholar, Africana Research Center and Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Dr. Elyan Jeanine Hill recently earned her Ph.D. in the World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department at UCLA. Her research interests include histories of slavery, collective memory, visual culture, and performance in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Liberia, and their diasporas. Specifically, her research examines festival and ritual dance performances by artists in both Ghana and Togo as dynamic forms of history-keeping, problem-solving, and traditional education for young women. She examines devotional practices for the spirits of enslaved persons called Mama Tchamba and for Mami Wata—a group of pan African water spirits often depicted as mermaids. Her research and fieldwork have been supported by the Ralph C. Altman Fellowship from the Fowler Museum, a West African Research Association Predoctoral Fellowship, and an International Institute Fieldwork Fellowship.