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Ryan Skinner, October 11, 2012

Ryan Thomas Skinner is an ethnomusicologist who studies expressive culture in West Africa and its European and American diasporas, with an areal focus on Malian music. Specializing in the analytic methods of cultural anthropology, social history, and musicology, Skinner’s research examines issues of popular and public culture, morality and ethics, cultural politics and economies, urbanism, and globalization.  He begins this interview talking about his intellectual formation as a young man, including his study with Cherif  Keita at Carleton College, and his desire to learn French because it would enable him to encounter the world in a different way.  The interview touches on identity, community, music, and the interplay between present and past in contemporary Mali.  He briefly touches on the 2012 coup and its implications.


The interview can also be downloaded as a video podcast (306.4 MB) or as an audio file (.mp3 – 55.5 MB).

While at the IAS, Skinner gave a talk entitled “The Art and Ambivalence of Afropolitan Patriotism: Making Malian Music in Times of Celebration and Crisis”.

Cherif Keita also participated in a Bat of Minerva interview.

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