Lecture: Ryan Skinner (Ohio State): "What is 'Malian Music?': Seven Partial Truths from a Musical Anthropology"
In this lecture, ethnomusicologist Ryan Skinner (Associate Professor, Ohio State University) presents 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 book, "Bamako Sounds" (Minnesota, 2015), "the Afropolitan ethics of Malian music." The talk will also explore the way these case studies inform methodological approaches to and theoretical concerns for a more musical anthropology, and connect this disciplinary perspective to Skinner's current research on an emergent, and currently effervescent Afro-Swedish public culture. Ryan Skinner is a musical anthropologist who studies the expressive cultures and social worlds of contemporary Africa and its European diaspora, with extensive fieldwork conducted in Mali and Sweden. Specializing in the analytic methods of cultural anthropology and ethnomusicology, Skinner's research focuses on issues of popular culture, ethics and aesthetics, public piety, cultural policy, intellectual property, racial identity and politics, and new social movements in the African world.