Writer, Speaker, Trainer, Singer-Songwriter, Vocal Performer, Designer of Conversational Environments, Consultant
Baruch College-CUNY, TED, KyraocityWorks, Thresh Dance, Ford Foundation
Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D. is a 2009 Inaugural TED Fellow, a CUNY Associate Professor, and author of The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (NYU Press, 2006), winner of the 2007 Alan Merriam Prize for most outstanding book. Kyra has become a prominent voice in the conversation of race, social justice and global transformation. As a thought leader, Kyra speaks and writes extensively about such topics as gender bias, institutional racism, hip hop culture, and social media. She appears on national and international radio and speaks abroad, most recently in Beijing, China for TEDxWiserU and in Norway where she spoke and sang at the 2011 International Student Festival in Trondheim. She created KyraocityWorks to encompass all her efforts as an educator, author, speaker, blogger, transformational coach, and social edupreneur. You can follow Kyra on Facebook and Twitter (@kyraocity), and read her blog at kyraocity.wordpress.com. She is delighted to appear at another TEDx event. Her first was TEDxEast in NYC October 2009. About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Kyra D. Gaunt: TED Fellow 2009. Voicing the unspoken thru song, scholarship & social media. Speaking at Brandsconf in NYC. "If College/University was a Brand, Students Would Stop Buying" If college was a brand, students would stop buying & given their brand experience, the ROI sucks. What if college students became consumers of their own productivity? Follow Kyra on Twitter: @kyraocity Follow LuckyStudent on Twitter: @LuckyStudent http://brandsconf.com http:/luckystudent.com http://whatzup.luckystudent.com
The Take 2! semifinals, September 13, 2009. Don't Tell Mama, NYC: Visit KPMS: http://www.kilroyproductions.com/live/
Two sections of an intro to cultural anthropology course taught by Assoc. Prof. Kyra Gaunt at Baruch College launched a campaign to donate laptops to underdeveloped countries and underdeveloped areas in the US. For $10 or less per person, any class, anywhere, can buy the $199 XO laptop. Our two sections tested in out. From Dec 16th to the 20th, we raised over $700 and counting (our campaign ends Dec 23). That's 3.5 laptops per 2 classes so far. Next year in the fall of 2009, we aim for 25% of Baruch's 700 classes and at least 20 other colleges participating. BTW, this was inspired by Mike Wesch's A Vision of Students Today and the Mastercard Priceless commercials. The script for this video was written by the students in Fall 2008 sections TV24A & XZ24C of ANT1001 at Baruch College. It was recorded by Professor Kyra Gaunt known as Professor G using a Ultra Flip Video camcorder. It took just 3 hours to create and shoot on Thursday, December 11, 2008 from 2:30 - 5:30pm. The video was edited with iMovie and the music is from the iMovie sound bank. The post-production editing took about 4 hours to complete. Any class could do this! Visit our blog titled BLOGTHROPOLOGY 2.0 at http://anthropology1001.blogspot.com/
Cheating Students: Can the Real-Time Web Create Truth-Telling in the Humanities? Issues of cheating and privacy are at the forefront of professors' concerns about social media in higher education (Pearson Social Media Study, 2011). Our lack of trust is systemic. Engagement is so minimal listening to students is rarely allowed. Classroom conversation is often limited to the last 5-10 mins of a 75-minute class. With over 18 million students currently enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, how can professors justify the mission of producing great citizens, future professionals and great human beings with a 44% dropout rate? That's nearly 8 million people. Facebook, alone, has more than 750 million active users as of Jan 2011. Here, I'll share how my participation on Twitter, along with other real-time web tools, helped me cultivate an environment for truth-telling and making a difference in my anthropology and racism courses. Twitter is a sharer's market and it (along with other real-time web tools like Skype and Facebook) has taught me more about how professors cheat students when we don't listen to them as adults rather than protecting some abstract "privacy" or answer key.
Give One Laptop Per Class
12/04/2008 – 12/22/2010
Inspired by TEDTalks students from several anthropology classes joined me in an educational project that raised consciousness about the world while we raised money to donate laptops. Baruch College-CUNY represented one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in the USA. The student body represented 160 countries. Since the One Laptop Per Child campaign was devoted to many of the places that my students immigrated from, this was a perfect way to educate the student body at Baruch AND make a difference in their other homes outside the U.S. "If we gave you $199 US dollars, how much could you buy in your home country?" This was about being responsive from your seat in the classroom. No more ivory tower.
Project Website »
Blogger on issues of race and racism in social media
02/26/2008 – present
A sample of my blogging. This was one of my most popular blog posts on race and racism.
Project Website »
The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop
01/06/2006 – present
“The Games Black Girls Play is beautifully and passionately written. This book presents an engaging reflexive narrative that ranges from childhood memories to involvement with ethnomusicological scholarship. Gaunt makes a convincing argument that the playsongs of African American girls is the foundation of African diasporic popular music-making. In a radical counter-history, she shows how African American girls-interlocutors who are triply minoritized through race, gender, and age-are producing music culture that has profound influences on popular music and the popular imagination. She calls for an engaged ethnomusicology and moves gracefully through an array of anti-essentialist perspectives on race and gender. She argues that “kinetic orality’ is key to African American musicking and that the body is always a locus of memory and communality. From somatic historiography to serious cross-talk with girls, Gaunt offers new methodologies for ethnomusicological work. The reader is pulled into a world in which Black girls are masters of musical knowledge, and in emerging from the book, we can't see the world of American popular music in the same way. When we chant Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack is dressed in black, black, black, with silver buttons, buttons, buttons, all down her back, back, back, we suddenly see how musical play and embodied knowledge generates a world of raced and gendered sociality.!” - President Elect Professor Deborah Wong,Society for Ethnomusicology “Gaunt provides a layered and rich analysis of a cultural form that has been all but ignored by scholars far and wide.” - Gender and Society “The Games Black Girls Play is an insightful inquiry into a frequently overlooked and influential site of cultural production.” - Popular Music "Fusing academic prose with vividly rendered memories, Gaunt’s journey is refreshing. . . . Gaunt successfully lifts ignored girls from obscurity to center stage. . . . With The Games Black Girls Play, Gaunt has created a necessary space for translating black girls’ joy in a society that typically overlooks it. Hopefully, others will take their turn and jump in to keep the games going.” - Bitch Magazine
Project Website »
Be the True Revolution (CD)
08/23/2007 – present
Original songs written by Kyra Gaunt and co-writer Tomas Doncker. Self-produced.
Project Website »
Kyra D. Gaunt, Ph.D., a singer-songwriter versed in classical music, jazz and R&B songwriting. She voices the unspoken of song, scholarship and social media as an associate professor of ethnomusicology, cultural anthropology and black music and as a social media expert. Her work in social media and especially on Twitter (short-media content) led her to be one of six finalists for Nokia's Connecting People Special Shorty Award
Mexican chicken enchiladas with green sauce, a mango margarita, and flan for dessert at Mi Nidito Restaurant in Manhattan
A funny story about me:
I once was having an inspired day and ran into a little, elderly, woman making her way to the elevator at the doctor's office in Manhattan. I held the door for her because I love how older folks get around in NY. Respect it. She had a scowl on her face. When she got on I said in a chirpy tone, "How are YOU, today?!" She said, "I've had a headache since Aug 27th." It was November. I was dumbfounded. She added, "I was run over by an apple cart." When I can be in the moment sometimes the most inimitable and serendipitous things happen. I replied without even thinking, "So, you're feeling fruity today?" And she laughed. I saw her when I was leaving and she was still smiling. She thanked me and went out of her way to wish me a happy holiday.