Joanna Menet

Joanna is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In her doctoral research she explores the transnationalisation of salsa dancing. Joanna holds a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Zurich. For her MA thesis she conducted ethnographic research in a small Swiss town, exploring how young adults from immigrant and non-immigrant background negotiate gender, ethnicity and religion in a school context.

Joanna’s research interest in dance developed during an Erasmus Semester in Athens. While attending salsa classes she noticed that the moves and the surrounding discourses among dancers in Athens were very similar to the ones she knew from Zurich. The puzzle how this is possible features centrally in the doctoral research Joanna embarked on in 2013.

Prior to starting her PhD, she moved to the French part of Switzerland where she worked as a research assistant at the Swiss Forum for Migration Studies (SFM), contributing to a project on the cantonal migration policies in federalist Switzerland. She then started her current research enabling her to combine her long-standing interest in dancing with previous theoretical and methodological interests. She applies a transnational perspective to examine the links between gender, ethnicity and mobility among salsa dancers at European salsa congresses and in Cuba. Her empirical approach encompasses multi-sited fieldwork, embodied research methods as well as interviews conducted in German, French, English, Italian and Spanish.

She is very happy to join Modern Moves at King’s College London as visiting scholar in spring 2016.