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Talking Music: A Conversation with Kassé Mady Diabaté

April 1st, 2016
12:00 PM

  Archived

Friday, April 1, 2016

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chem 011)

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Light lunch served after the discussion.

Duke Professor Laurent Dubois, a historian of the Black Atlantic and author of the recently released book The Banjo: America's African Instrument, and Amadou Fofana, Visiting Fellow at Duke University and specialist on West African cinema and culture, join Kassé Mady Diabaté in conversation about the roots of Diabaté's music in the griot tradition. 

A part of Talking Music: Conversations with Scholars, Writers, Archivists, and Artists, co-sponsored by Duke Performances and the Forum for Scholars & Publics. This installment in the series is also co-sponsored by the Duke Africa Initiative.

Kassé Mady Diabaté

Singer Kassé Mady Diabaté is a descendant of the most distinguished griot family of the ancient Manding Empire, the Diabatés of Kéla. His name, alongside other griot legends Toumani Diabaté and Bassekou Kouyaté, signifies musical royalty in Mali. Over a five-decade career, Diabaté has brought his nuanced, stirring voice to a series of splendid recordings, including 2010’s GRAMMY-winning Afrocubism, and the collaborative record Kulanjan with Taj Mahal. Salif Keita calls him “the greatest singer in Mali.”

Laurent Dubois

Duke University

Laurent Dubois is Professor of Romance Studies and History and the founder and Faculty Director of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. From 2010 to 2013, he was the co-director of the Haiti Laboratory of the Franklin Humanities Institute. He is the author of six books, including Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (2004), which won four book prizes including the Frederick Douglass Prize, and Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012). He has also written about the politics of soccer, with Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (2010) and is the founding editor of then Soccer Politics Blog. His most recent book is The Banjo: America's African Instrument (2016). He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Center Fellowship, and a Mellon New Directions Fellowship. He is also involved in several Digital Humanities projects, including the Soccer Politics blog and the Banjology website. His writings have appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Slate. He tweets @Soccerpolitics.

Amadou Fofana

Williamette University & Duke University

Dr. Amadou T. Fofana is Associate Professor of French at Willamette University and a Humanities Writ-Large 2015-2016 Visiting Faculty Fellow at Duke University. He received a Licence es Lettres and a Maîtrise in English from Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal. He also received an MA in French Literature and Civilization from Michigan State University, and his Ph.D. in African Languages and Literature from UW-Madison, WI. His research and teaching interests include French language and literature, Francophone literatures and cultures, African languages, literature and films.