Jenni Skinner

Jenni Skinner

Jenni Skinner is the African Specialist and Library Manager of the African Studies Library, supporting the research and teaching needs of the University’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate study of Africa, as part of the World Collections Department at Cambridge University Library.

Jenni Skinner

Jenni spent the formative years of her career in librarianship at the Social & Political Sciences Library (2002-2015) at the University of Cambridge before moving to her current role at the African Studies Library.
Within Cambridge, she has previously held Co-Chair roles of the Race Equality Network and the Faculty and Departmental Librarians Network. Currently, Jenni is a member of the Decolonising through Critical Librarianship group, who were winners of the Professional Services Recognition Scheme Awards 2022 in the Cross-University category and with whom she has co-authored the chapter in the edited volume "Narrative Expansions: Interpreting Decolonisation in Academic Libraries".

Jenni is a Cambridge University Libraries Decolonisation Working Group representative, advisor on the Black Advisory Hub Steering Group, and a member of the Wolfson College Cambridge REACH (Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Heritage) Research Hub Steering Group.

More broadly, she is Chair of SCOLMA (UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa) and is a member of the Editorial Committee for the joint journal of the International African Institute and SCOLMA, "Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation".

Building on this network of African Studies specialists in libraries and archives in the UK, she is also an elected member of the ASAUK Council (African Studies Association of the UK).

With a passion for equity of access to libraries and information, she has worked closely with student societies and research networks such as the Black Cantabs Research Society, FLY Network, Postcolonial and Related Literatures Seminar Series, and coordinated and hosted the student-curated African Literature Book Club to promote engagement with students of culturally diverse and global majority backgrounds within the Cambridge context.

Jenni has a keen interest in the visual arts, with a focus on the visual representation of the global majority, and has hosted two contemporary photography exhibitions ‘Generation Z’, and ‘Stories of Kalingalinga’ in conjunction with Dr Kerstin Hacker from Cambridge School of Arts. Moving forward Jenni will continue to work with African Lens & Maona Art with a view to supporting future discussions similar to their recent collaboration ”Insight: virtual conversations with African photographers and filmmakers”; as well as the anticipated launch of the next photography exhibition at the Centre of African Studies “Women in Perspective” with Sudanese Collective & Network, Aswat Al Watan.

Currently, Jenni is involved in digitisation projects to uncover and provide access to African archival materials in Cambridge and internationally. These include the Mellon-funded collaborative international project: “African Poetry Digital Portal” hosted by University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the recently concluded "Carnegie RCS Southern African Collections" project with the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) collections at the UL. Building on these collaborations she supported creative practitioners and CVC Fellows, Sana Ginwalla and Kerstin Hacker on their exciting artistic intervention in the RCS collections “An Exhibition That Nobody Will See”. This collaboration will continue in the summer of 2024 including two new Zambian photographers in the next iteration of the project “Re-entangling the Visual Archive”.

She is looking forward to expanding on her close working partnership with Dr Kenny Monrose as part of the REACH Research Hub at Wolfson, specifically in the curation of a culturally important audio-visual archive addressing race relations in Britain.

What's on

A triptych of three plant-themed paintings: the left shows large leaves, the center features a dark forest scene, and the right depicts vibrant, stylized foliage and flowers.

Art Exhibition: 'Life Within Landscapes'

09/06/2024 at 10.00

Explore Wolfson's newest exhibition, 'Life Within Landscapes', showcasing works by three Cambridge-based female contemporary artists, inspired by their Caribbean heritage.

A group of people mingle and converse on a lawn outside a building on a sunny day. Some are seated on benches or the grass, while others stand and chat. Trees and buildings are visible in the background.

Wolfson College Garden Party 2024

16/06/2024 at 14.30

Join us at Wolfson for an afternoon of music and light refreshments in the College grounds.

Two images side by side: on the left, a woman holding a clarinet smiles at the camera; on the right, a woman dressed in green plays the violin intently.

The Mary Bevan Recital: Lola Frisby Williams (clarinet) & Imaan Kashim (violin)

16/06/2024 at 19.00

Join us for our annual Mary Bevan concert with prize winners of the prestigious Cambridge University Concerto Competition.

Promotional graphic for Wolfson May Ball 2024, themed "dreamscapes," featuring an illustration of a figure in a canoe with a lantern and a silhouette of a face on a wavy backdrop.

Wolfson May Ball 2024: Dreamscapes

21/06/2024 at 20.00

Step from one dreamscape to the next, on a journey from restful lullabies to surrealist whimsy to thrilling nightmares, and emerge forever changed…

Boxes filled with assorted cupcakes topped with various frosting flavours and sprinkles.

Foundation Day Celebrations

28/06/2024 at 10.00

It's Wolfson's birthday! Wherever you are in the world, celebrate with us at one of our Foundation Day events.