Elina Seye

Member of AfriStadi's steering committee

lina Seye is an ethnomusicologist and dance researcher with a specialization in West African music and dance traditions. Her particular research interest has been the sabar tradition of the Wolof people in Senegal, which was the topic of her doctoral thesis “Performing a Tradition in Music and Dance: Embodiment and Interaction in Sabar Dance Events” (University of Tampere, 2014) and the later postdoctoral project “Moving Knowledge: The Changing Embodiments of Cultural Knowledge in Senegalese Sabar Performances” (Academy of Finland/University of Helsinki, 2019–2022).

Apart from West African music and dance, she has conducted research on African music and musicians in Finland. Her current research focuses on the transmission of West African music and dance traditions in Finland and the communities that practice these traditions as part of the research project "The diversity of music heritage in Finland". She also continues to lead the project "World Wide Women - Female Musicians Crossing Borders and Building Futures", coming to an end in 2024, that combines research and artistic work. Her own research in this project has focused on women musicians and dancers in Senegal and Mali.

 Currently, she works as grant-funded researcher and part-time teacher in Musicology at the University of Helsinki. In addition to the University of Helsinki, Over the years, she has held teaching positions at the University of Joensuu and the University of Tampere, teaching a range of courses in musicology, ethnomusicology and dance studies. Since 2020, she acts as chairperson of the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology.

Research interests

- performance and performativity

- dance-music interrelations

- multimodal ethnography

- West Africa: Senegal, Mali

- African arts and traditions in Finland/Europe