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Elyan Jeanine Hill

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Elyan Jeanine Hill

World Arts and Cultures/Dance

University of CA, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2019


Dr. Elyan Jeanine Hill recently earned her PhD 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 a Ralph C. Altman Fellowship from the Fowler Museum, a West African Research Association Predoctoral Fellowship, and an International Institute Fieldwork Fellowship.