Ryan Skinner, Assistant Professor, Department of African American and African Studies, The Ohio State University

The Afropolitan Ethics of Malian Music (Or, The Partial Truths of a Musical Anthropology)

What is “Malian music?” In this lecture, ethnomusicologist Ryan Skinner will present a set of provisional answers from his experiences as an observer of Mali and student of its music over the past two decades. These answers are neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive, but they do give a sense of the crucial complexity that Malian artists playfully, critically, and artfully negotiate when they make (and we hear) their music—what Skinner calls in his new book, Bamako Sounds, “the Afropolitan ethics of Malian music.”

Ryan Skinner is Assistant Professor of ethnomusicology in the School of Music and Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. He is currently a visiting researcher in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at Uppsala University. Dr. Skinner’s research focuses on popular culture, ethics and aesthetics, cultural politics and economy, public piety, world music, and multicultural social movements in Africa and its diasporas. He is the author of Bamako Sounds: The Afropolitan Ethics of Malian Music (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), and a children's book, Sidikiba’s Kora Lesson (Beaver's Pond Press, 2008). He is also an accomplished kora (21-stringed West African harp) player.

All seminars in the series.