Arts & Humanities

Lynnée Denise brings ‘DJ scholarship’ to Athens

Lynnée Denise

Lynnée Denise is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer and academic who practices “DJ Scholarship,” which her official biography describes as a method “to re-position the role of the DJ from a party purveyor to an archivist, cultural custodian and information specialist of music with critical value.” Denise will bring that unique brand of scholarship to the UGA and Athens communities with an evening of conversation and performance Oct. 17 at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave. in downtown Athens.

The event will begin with “Let the Beat Hit ’Em: Case Studies in DJ Scholarship,” a conversation between Denise and Harold Pride, an Atlanta-based community-based lecturer and scholar of black music who has presented at conferences across the United States and internationally, often on the music of Prince, at 6 p.m. After a short break, a community reception and mixer will begin at 8 p.m., followed by a DJ set by Denise beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The evening at Ciné with Denise is part of DJ Summits in the Global South, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant-funded research project in the Global Georgia Initiative of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. Ed Pavlic, Distinguished Research Professor of English and African American studies at UGA, is the project’s director and programs the summits with support from the Willson Center.

“Globally conversant, musically virtuosic and intellectually adept, Lynnée Denise is the perfect person to start off the series of DJ Summits,”
Pavlic said. “In conversation and performance, these summits will explore how DJs ‘write’ searching and empowering stories in tone, texture and rhythm, narratives whose full life happens in the collective company of able dancers and vice versa.”

The second of three DJ Summits is scheduled for February 2020 with Val Jeanty and Ashon Crawley.

Denise is a lecturer in Pan African studies and Chicano studies at California State University, Los Angeles who has presented her DJ Scholarship at Stanford, Yale, Princeton, the Broad Museum, the Tate Modern and many other universities and institutions around the world. She has written for numerous publications and anthologies, and she has organized conferences in Los Angeles on Michael Jackson, Prince and Aretha Franklin.