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Prof. Ryan Skinner (Ohio State U.): "Walking, Talking, Re-membering: An Afro-Swedish Critique of Being-in-the-world." (01/24)

Event Start: 
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: 
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)


The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a talk by:

Prof. Ryan Skinner
(Associate Professor, School of Music and Department of African and African-American Studies, The Ohio State University)

"Walking, Talking, Re-membering: An Afro-Swedish Critique of Being-in-the-world."

Tuesday, January 24, 2 017
5:00-7:00PM
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway and 116th St.)

In this lecture, Ryan Skinner will examine the existential grounds and limits of an embodied and intersubjective being-in-the-world, in walking dialogue with the remembrances of Afro-Swedish subjects. To walk, wander, and roam in Sweden, particularly through the abundant green spaces that intrude upon and surround nearly every town and city, is a biopolitical act. It is a sign of personal vitality, healthfulness, and a kind of being-with others predicated on a regular, self-conscious, and often solitary being-toward nature. Yet, for many non-white Africa-descended Swedes, such an imagined community of salubrious and, for the most part, anonymous walkers is largely just that, a socially constructed fiction that perforce (which is to say "by force") excludes them; an abstraction of urban planning that encumbers their movements, creating anomalous spaces of stasis and immobility; a caesura in the biopolitical field that indexes their black lives as matter out of place, beyond both culture and nature. If the phenomenological axiom of being-in-the-world posits a dialogic and corporeal co-presence of mutually constitutive subjectivities, then the perambulatory culture of Afro-Swedes suggests a state of exception—a breach in the intersubjective field—one which Afro-Swedish subjects critically address through doubly conscious re-membering, recollecting the histories of violence that set them apart, and distinguish their struggle.

Ryan Skinner Faculty Page at OSU


Ryan Skinner is Associate Professor of ethnomusicology in the School of Music and the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. Dr. Skinner’s research focuses on popular culture, ethics, cultural politics, public piety, intellectual property, and new social movements and modes of identification 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. 







Congratulations to CU Ethno Students!

Hearty congratulations are in order for a number of Columbia Ethnomusicology students:

First, three students are now alumni!  We congratulate Andrew Eisenberg, Morgan Luker, and Ryan Skinner, each of whom has successfully defended his dissertation.  

We also congratulate Tyler Bickford, winner of a Columbia University Whiting Fellowship.

Congratulations to Farzaneh Hemmasi, who has won a dissertation fellowship for 2009-10 from the Middle East Institute. 

Congratulations to Sara Snyder, who has won a summer research fellowship from the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. 

Congratulations to Anna Stirr, who has accepted a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford University.

And finally, congratulations to Daphne Carr, who got a fellowship form The Harriman Institute at Columbia University.

Ryan Skinner publishes "Sidikiba's Kora Lesson"



Columbia ethnomusicology PhD student Ryan Skinner has just published his first children's book: Sidikiba's Kora Lesson.

Ten year-old Sidikiba is about to be initiated into the world of the kora, a twenty-one stringed West African harp performed by his family for seventy generations. To become a kora player, like his father and grandfather before him, Sidikiba must honor and respect the wisdom of his elders, trust in the mystical secrets of his community, and, above all else, be patient and practice hard...


Sidikiba's Kora Lesson is the story of a child's encounter with a rich cultural heritage set in a modern African city, where learning to balance the new and the old is part of growing up. Through sound, pictures, and text, Sidikiba's Kora Lesson comes alive for readers and music lovers of all ages!


For more information and to purchase Sidikiba's Kora Lesson please visit:  http://www.sidikibaskoralesson.com/




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