Imagine Otherwise: Larisa Kingston Mann on DJ Dreams and Radical Publics

Imagine Otherwise: Larisa Kingston Mann on DJ Dreams and Radical Publics

April 11, 2019

I interview DJ and media studies professor Larisa Kingston Mann about how radical music communities navigate copyright law and colonial legacies; how Larisa’s work as a DJ and music event organizer taught her how to improvise and read a room (including a classroom); and how making her academic work accountable to marginalized communities and broader social justice movements is how Larisa imagines otherwise.


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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Larisa’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).

Larisa Kingston Mann DJing at a sound board and turntable

Guest: Larisa Kingston Mann

Larisa Kingston Mann is an assistant professor of media studies and production in Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication. She teaches courses related to media criticism, law, technology, and popular culture. Larisa’s research examines how marginalized and oppressed communities create spaces of cultural autonomy, especially in changing legal and technological contexts.

She has published articles on the global circuits of Jamaican popular music, the role of music in radical social justice movements, what feminism can learn from new media, ethnic radio and nonlinear innovation, Berlin reggae, and copyright and cultural citizenship in outlets including The Nation; XLR8R; Viewpoint magazine; the Journal of Popular Music Studies; the International Journal of Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies.

Larisa has also been an internationally-touring DJ for 22 years. She is a member of the Dutty Artz NYC, Heavy NYC, and Sub/Version (Philadelphia) event organizing crews and is active in 24HRPHL, an organization coordinating Philadelphia nightlife workers to make more liberatory spaces and cultural experiences. 

Key quote

“I have to continually try to find ways to make my academic work worthwhile beyond the evaluations of academia. Professionally, I have to be accountable to academia and to the different fields within it than I’m in dialogue with. But I also want to be accountable to the communities that I do research on and with and also in general accountable to broader concerns with justice..”

– Larisa Kingston Mann on episode 86 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast


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