Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.

Prize-winning author of The Games Black Girls Play from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop, 2007 co-winner of Alan Merriam Prize for most outstanding English-language monograph awarded by the Society for Ethnomusicology.

2009 Inaugural TED Fellow (Long Beach).
2011 Finalist for Nokia Special Connecting People Shorty Award.
2001-2002 Ford Foundation MInority Post-doc Fellow.
2000 NEH Post-doc Fellow
View her visualized resume here.

Dr. Gaunt's latest research on YouTube, digital self-presentation and black girls who twerk explores cognitive and media ecological fitness. The aim is to help adolescent/teen produsers impacted by intersectional discrimination learn more about ownership of their digital selves (to protect their future identities) in the post-human, always-on, hyper-networked world--still digitally-divided by race, sex, gender, age and money--that we all now occupy.

Publications accessible via http://academic.edu.

As a teacher-learner, her goal is always to teach emerging adults to own their own greatness; to voice their intellectual fitness and demonstrate their ecological literacy as media creators and citizens of a hyperconnected world. I do this through courses in cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, gender studies, YouTube digital ethnography and political sociology.

Ultimately, her work is about empathy, courage, and ownership of one's voice in a political world that requires our fitness.

Studying black girls who twerk on YouTube is both the medium of, and the message for, developing empathy for all people in lifestyles that are as different and daring as our own. The aim of higher education should be to co-develop ourselves as leaders in diverse and intersectional thinking that can change not only our own views of the world but also our shared cultures and ecologies.

In addition to scholarship, she is a classically-trained singer, an R&B singer-songwriter, & an improvisational artist. Her original music is available for download