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December 03, 2007

Gavilan College anthropology instructor has book published: "Yoruba Bata Goes Global"

Anthropology Instructor Debra Klein is the author of the recently published "Yoruba Bata Goes Global: Artists, Culture Brokers, and Fans," an ethnographic study of Nigerian practitioners of bta centuries-old drumming, dancing, and singing tradition. Klein received her Bachelor of Arts' degree from Brown University and her Masters' and Doctorate degrees from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Dr. Klein was a Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria where she videotaped Yoruba performances, interviews, and life in Nigeria. Her research has revealed that bta centuries-old drumming, dancing, and singing tradition, has now made the move from local villages to the global marketplace. Responding to growing international interest in the Yorb culture of southwestern Nigeria, practitioners of bt have recast themselves as traditional performers. As the Nigerian market for ritual bt has been declining, international opportunities for performance have grown. Debra L. Klein's lively ethnography explores this disjunction, revealing the world of bt artists and the global culture market that helps to sustain their art.

Yorb Bt Goes Global, published by the University of Chicago Press, describes the dramatic changes and reinventions of traditional bt performance in recent years, showing how they are continually recreated, performed, and sold. Klein delves into the lives of Yorb musicians, focusing on their strategic collaborations with artists, culture brokers, researchers, and entrepreneurs worldwide. She further explores how reinvigorated performing ensembles are beginning to parlay success on the world stage into increased power and status within Nigeria. Klein's study of the interwoven roles of innovation and tradition will interest scholars of African, global, and cultural studies, anthropology, and ethnomusicology alike.

Debra Klein joined the faculty of Gavilan College in 2006. This Spring she will be teaching Introduction to Physical Anthropology (both on-campus and online), Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and Magic/Witchcraft and Religion.

Last modified: August 17, 2011
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