Larisa Kingston Mann, "Rude Citizenship: Jamaican Popular Music, Copyright, and the Reverberations of Colonial Power (UNC Press, 2022)


In this episode, our host Mariela Morales Suárez discusses the book Rude Citizenship: Jamaican Popular Music, Copyright, and the Reverberations of Colonial Power (UNC Press, 2022) by Dr. Larisa Kingston Mann.

You’ll hear about:

  • Dr. Mann’s intellectual trajectory and how she became interested in the topic of copyright in Jamaican popular music;
  • The concept of “rude citizenship” through the Jamaican music world;
  • What it means to be “original” from the perspective of copyrights, language, and diverse modes of cultural production in Jamaica;
  • Dr. Mann’s writing process as a form of translation from fieldwork notes, archival materials, and music contents into ethnography;
  • How to make the classroom a meaningful pedagogical space by learning from marginal voices and practices;
  • What constitutes the exilic spaces, namely, the reimagining of marginalized spaces as sites of agency and sovereignty through music and cultural production;
  • The transnational networks of the local music production in Jamaica and global flows of sonic resistance, especially during COVID-19.

About the book

In this deep dive into the Jamaican music world filled with the voices of creators, producers, and consumers, Larisa Kingston Mann—DJ, media law expert, and ethnographer—identifies how a culture of collaboration lies at the heart of Jamaican creative practices and legal personhood. Because many working-class and poor people are cut off from the full benefits of citizenship on the basis of race, class, and geography, Jamaican music spaces are an important site of social commentary and political action in the face of the state’s limited reach and neglect of social services and infrastructure. Music makers organize performance and commerce in ways that defy, though not without danger, state ordinances and intellectual property law and provide poor Jamaicans avenues for self-expression and self-definition that are closed off to them in the wider society. In a world shaped by coloniality, how creators relate to copyright reveals how people will play outside, within, and through the limits of their marginalization.

You can find this book on the University of North Carolina Press website.

Author: Larisa Kingston Mann is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University (PA, USA). Her work examines how marginalized communities use cultural practices to create spaces and moments of resistance and negotiation with colonial power. She is especially interested in the technological and legal contexts that allow these spaces to exist, or how people redraw those contexts in moments of creativity and communion.

Host: Mariela Morales Suárez is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania where she specializes in transnational media flows, technological appropriations, diasporic identity formation, and popular culture. She studies communications in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on Post-Soviet Cuba. Her recent research looks at the transnational networks of production and distribution of Cuban popular culture and the appropriation of media technologies for the reconfiguration of alterity.

Editor & Producer: Jing Wang. She is Senior Research Manager at CARGC at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include: Anthropology of Religion, Race & Ethnicity; Feminist Theories and Politics; Sound and Podcast Studies; Mobility, Diaspora & Memory; Translation Practices and Theories; Multimodal & Public Scholarship.

Our podcast is part of the multimodal project powered by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. At CARGC, we produce and promote critical, interdisciplinary, and multimodal research on global media and communication. We aim to bridge academic scholarship and public life, bringing the very best scholarship to bear on enduring global questions and pressing contemporary issues.

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