Kyra Gaunt has a litany of talents as a college professor, social media researcher, songwriter, performer and author who categorizes herself as a revolutionary thinker and doer. Her areas of specialty are race, gender and African American music.
Gaunt will be discussing “Keep Dat Ass Jumpin’ …On the Backs of Marginal Girls’ Mobility: Music, Capital and Technological Oppression on YouTube” as the guest speaker for The Crossroads: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on American Music Speaker Series hosted by the School of Individualized Study at Rochester Institute of Technology. The author will speak at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at RIT’s University Gallery, James E. Booth Hall, adjacent to the Vignelli Center for Design Studies. The event is free and open to the public.
Originally trained as an ethnomusicologist, Gaunt is a certified federal witness providing expertise on the use of and interactions on social media. She conducts research on the unintended consequences of social media and digital publicity/privacy for marginalized groups (especially young women) across media ecologies such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Her book, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (NYU Press), won the 2007 Alan Merriam Distinguished Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. In 2009, Gaunt was selected as one of 40 inaugural TED Fellows, and in 2011, was nominated for the “Nokia Connecting People” Shorty Award for her work on Twitter and Facebook.
Gaunt teaches sociology and anthropology at Baruch College at the City University of New York, and received her Ph.D. in musicology and ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan in 1997.