CECI n'est pas EXECUTE Églantine Gauthier

Églantine Gauthier

PhD Student
Field(s): Ethnology / Social Anthropology
Institutional affiliation(s): EHESS

Professional contact information



Dissertation director: Catherine Servan-Schreiber

PhD program: EHESS - Social Anthropology and Ethnology

Initial registration: 2013


Following the Beat to “Zip en Ler” Dancing: Bodily Hexis, Scenic Esthetics and Identitarian and Patrimonial Stakes Linked to Sega Dancing in Mauritius


Mauritian sega is a polymorphous practice—music, song and dance all in one—that was born during the practice of slavery in the plantation societies of the Indian Ocean. Growing out of the servile festival practices of the slaves of African and Malagasy descent, sega became a performance genre and a trans-community social phenomenon in Mauritius starting in the mid-20th century. Valued by all the ethnico-religious communities of the island, traditional Mauritian sega, or sega tipik, was very recently (November 2014) recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage (ICH). Sega dancing is a spectacular object that is regularly presented on the tourist track, but is also done by the Mauritian population during a variety of different events. It remains understudied in academic research.

The subject of this research project connects to several issues, either contemporary or traditionally linked to music and dance practices and to the construction of postcolonial and post-slavery identities in a globalization context. It is at the crossroads of the production of a complex patrimonial and national imaginary, and of logics marked by several industries (music, performance and tourism), cultural dynamics and social uses inscribed in public or private spaces, that Mauritian sega occurs In other words, the study of the danced aspect of sega serves, here, as a way to chart out heterogeneous realities in Mauritius, in the midst of which different social logics of identity representation are negotiated, both at national and global levels.


Conference presentations 


2014 | “L’ancrage d’une réputation érotique dans le séga mauricien : de cadencer à danser ‘zip en ler’.” International conference entitled Érotisme et sexualité dans les arts du spectacle, organized by the ‘Réseau Arts du spectacle vivant et ethnoscénologie,’ MSH Paris Nord




2016 | “La valorisation d’un héritage ancestral complexe. Le cas de l’inscription du sega tipik mauricien sur la liste représentative du patrimoine culturel immatériel de l’UNESCO,” in Revue Internationale d’Ethnographie, No. 6

2015 | “Fieldwork in Mauritius,” in CEIAS Newsletter, No. 10-Spring 2015


Institutional reports


2014 | Le rôle des Mauriciens de France dans la diffusion du séga, fieldwork report drafted to receive a training and research grant provided by the research and scientific policy steering department of the General Heritage Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Communication




2015 | Training on research video on trafficking, slaveries and their heritage organized by the CIRESC (Centre International de Recherche sur les Esclavages—International Center for Research on Slaveries) and the URMIS (Unité de Recherches Migrations et Sociétés—Research Unit on Migrations and Societies) with the collaboration of the IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement—Institute for Development Research and the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique—French National Center for Scientific Research).




2014 | CEIAS research grant

2014 | Six-month training and research grant from the research and scientific policy steering department of the General Heritage Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Communication



Last update: 15 November 2017 (NG)




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