Debra Klein

Debra Klein
Gavilan College · Department of Anthropology

Anthropology Ph.D.

About

18
Publications
9,030
Reads
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16
Citations
Introduction
Greetings! I have been conducting research with artists in southwestern Nigeria for over twenty years. My latest research investigates aesthetics and politics of Yorùbá Islamic culture in Nigeria. During an era when public goods are under threat, I am an advocate for increased investment in public education as a means to achieve social and economic justice.
Additional affiliations
August 2005 - present
Gavilan College
Position
  • Professor
August 2004 - May 2005
Vassar College
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2001 - May 2004
University of California, Santa Cruz
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
September 1994 - June 2000
University of California, Santa Cruz
Field of study
  • Anthropology
September 1992 - June 1994
University of California, Santa Cruz
Field of study
  • Anthropology
August 1988 - May 1992
Brown University
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (18)
Presentation
Full-text available
My comments during the book launch, hosted by the University of Regina, for *The Cinema of Tunde Kelani: Aesthetics, Theatricalities, and Visual Performance*. Tundé Kelani’s body of work, mobilized through Èṣù-like storytelling, offers new myths that awaken our spirit and desire to create a more balanced and beautiful world. Thank you, Oga Kelani,...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article opens with the suggestion that the art of world-renowned and critically acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker, Tundé Kelani, is analogous to the work of Òrìṣà Èṣù, supernatural trickster who opens the portal to the spirit realm, the past, and the future. Drawing from long-term ethnographic research with Yorùbá performing artists in Òṣun and Kwa...
Article
Full-text available
Why have so many advocacy organizations whose decision makers have little, if any, direct experience within the California Community Colleges, successfully determined the policy and funding direction of the system over the past few decades? In 2020, I began researching a range of California-based advocacy organizations which have redefined the miss...
Article
Full-text available
A proliferation of popular music genres flourished in post-independence Nigeria: highlife, jùjú, Afrobeat, and fújì. Originating within Yorùbá Muslim communities, the genres of fújì and Islamic are Islamised dance music genres characterised by their Arabic-influenced vocal style, Yorùbá praise poetry, driving percussion and aesthetics of incorporat...
Article
Full-text available
The California Community College system’s over-reliance upon part-time faculty is the most chronic and systemic inequity of teaching in the California community colleges. Although the Education Code deems part-time faculty temporary, part-time faculty are not only permanent but have comprised 70 percent of all California community college faculty f...
Article
Full-text available
Just as the coronavirus crisis magnifies systemic inequities in societies across the globe, it also magnifies systemic absurdities. Now the absurdity of pouring taxpayer dollars into Calbright, a project that is fiscally wasteful, is impossible to ignore. As taxpayers who love and benefit from the community colleges, we have an opportunity to addre...
Article
Full-text available
The California Community College system is one of the most significant and vital engines for educational, economic, and personal growth opportunities in California, and particularly for Residents of Color and low income. While many faculty are actively working to create more equitable college cultures and classrooms, transformation will only happen...
Chapter
Full-text available
During the 1960s in post-independence Nigeria, Síkírù Àyìndé Barrister (1948-2010) pioneered and coined the term fújì, a Yorùbá genre of popular dance music. While Barrister was a soldier in the Nigerian army in the late 1960s, he transformed wéré/ajísari music, songs performed by and for Muslims during the Ramadan fast, into this new style of danc...
Article
Full-text available
Èrìn-Òṣun, Nigeria is renowned for being home to lineages of traditional drummers and masquerade dancers. Since the 1960s, Èrìn-Òṣun artists have collaborated with European and U.S. artists and scholars. Drawing upon three years of ethnographic fieldwork from 1995 to 2005, this chapter analyzes Èrìn-Òṣun artists’ strategic collaborations with a pro...
Article
Full-text available
Review of Yorùbá Music in the Twentieth Century: Identity, Agency, and Performance Practice by Bode Omojola
Article
Full-text available
This article celebrates and pays tribute to the work of Karin Barber by joining analyses of the history of political and economic conditions with analyses of the relationship between people's lifestyles and aesthetic forms of production. This paper analyzes a Yorùbá alárìnjó (traditional singing, dancing, drumming, and masquerade) performance and a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Làmídì Àyánkúnlé (1949-2018), a master bata drummer and broker of Yorùbá culture, was born on 6 August 1949 in the town of Èrìn-Òsun in present-day Òsun State, Nigeria. Àyánkúnlé was born into a large extended family of traditional bàtá (double-headed, conically shaped drum ensemble) and dùndún (double-headed, hourglass-shaped drum ensemble with te...
Article
Full-text available
Barber’s latest book provides a call and prescription for a renewed focus on the analysis of texts and the conditions of their production and reception. Building on her extensive fieldwork in the Yoruba town of Okuku, Barber’s numerous publications analyzing African oral and written texts have already modeled such an anthropology. In order to produ...
Article
Full-text available
The most recent generational shift in the culture of Yorùbá Bàtá performance has provoked frustration in older artists who are worried that their tradition is dying. The generation of artists in its twenties fuses traditional bàtá, with popular musical genres, creating a fusion style I call “pop tradition.” “Pop” signifies the young artists' desire...
Thesis
Full-text available
Based on two and a half years of fieldwork in Osun State, Nigeria, this dissertation tracks histories of collaborative performance among Erin-Osun bàtá artists and their European, US, and Yoruba co-performers, patrons, students, and fans. An essential component of an ever-changing, centuries-old traveling theater and religious tradition, Yoruba bàt...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This project’s goal is to explore and critique the corporate-driven austerity agenda shaping the California Community Colleges system, the largest system of higher education in the United States. How can we build a movement to fight for students' rights to define and achieve their educational goals during an era when the California Community Colleges system is focusing on producing more degrees more quickly in service of a neoliberal agenda to churn out workers for a capitalist economy? How can the largest system of higher education in the United States lead the way in achieving equity for part-time faculty, who comprise 70% of the faculty?
Project
This research investigates the negotiation of gender, morality, ethnicity, and nationality within Yorùbá Islamic music genres in Nigeria.