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 book by the Society for Ethnomusicology.

I teach emerging adults to own their own greatness with ethnomusicology, digital anthropology and political sociology. I study the impact of neoliberalism on the musical practices, online security and ecological fitness of black girls who twerk on YouTube.

2009 inaugural TED Fellow. 2011 Finalist for Nokia Special Connecting People Shorty Award. Ford Foundation Post-doc Fellow. NEH Post-doc Fellow.

Classically-trained, R&B singer-songwriter, & improvisational vocalist. Buy her CD here.


  • Black Girls YouTube: Twerking
  • One-woman show: Education, Liberation, I love you!: A vocal memoir of race, gender and musical blackness


Background image from Dr. Gaunt's iPhone photo series called kyracatures featuring intimate close-ups of the tiny things we overlook.