Ali Colleen Neff F'12

Ali Colleen Neff
Visiting Assistant Professor
American Studies and Anthropology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2012
Doctoral Candidate
Cultural Studies/Communication Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Generation “Fly to Fly”: Sounding Bodies, New Cosmopolitanisms, and Urban Transformation in the Sounds and Styles of Senegalese Women’s Pop

This ethnographic project, focusing on five women popular musical artists of Dakar, Senegal, asks how young, urban West African women practice critical, indigenous, and Sufi aesthetics—particularly those involving voice and spectacle—to cultivate resources amongst the contexts of regional poverty and political strife. Drawing from two year’ collaborative fieldwork conducted in the Wolof language, it contextualizes global aesthetic and postcolonial theories with an extensive study of local musical, social and ethnic traditions as practitioners engage in modes of self-writing to remember, imagine, and remake their self-described “Africanity.”