Ryan Skinner is an ethnomusicologist who studies the local and global music cultures of postcolonial Mali (West Africa) and its European and American diasporas. Specializing in the analytic methods of cultural anthropology and musicology, his research focuses on issues of popular culture, ethics, aesthetics, urbanism, public piety, cultural politics, and globalization. Skinner’s work has appeared in the journals Anthropological Quarterly, Africa, Popular Music, Mande Studies, The Journal of American Folklore, and African Arts. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled, “Afropolitan Ethics: Music, Morality, and Urban Culture in Bamako, Mali.” He is also the author and illustrator of a children's book, Sidikiba's Kora Lesson (Beaver's Pond Press, 2008) and an accomplished kora (21-stringed West African harp) player. Skinner holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University (2009) and is currently an assistant professor of Music and of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University
Skinner's areas of expertise include Africanist ethnomusicology, African popular culture, postcolonial studies, diaspora studies, and sound studies.
- 2012. “Cultural Politics in the Postcolony: Music, Nationalism, and Statism in Mali, 1964-1975,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (in press).
- 2012. “Artists, Music Piracy, and the Crisis of Political Subjectivity in Contemporary Bamako,” Anthropological Quarterly 85/3.
- 2010. “Civil Taxis and Wild Trucks: The Dialectics of Social Space and Subjectivity in Dimanche à Bamako,” Popular Music 29/1: 17-39.
- Musicology (Ethnomusicology)