Katherine Scahill

Second Year Graduate Student in Ethnomusicology
103, Music Building

I am currently pursuing a PhD in ethnomusicology with a focus on religious musics in South and Southeast Asia. As an incoming PhD student, I hope to research the use of sound and music in Buddhism, Hinduism, and the worship of local deities in Thailand. I am particularly interested in chanting practices of Buddhist nuns, as well as the role of music and sound in rituals of healing, blessing and protection. In exploring these topics, I am motivated by a number of questions including: What purposes can chant and music serve in Buddhist practices and ceremonies? How might the chant practices and repertoires of female Buddhist monastics reflect or challenge gendered power dynamics in Thai Buddhism? How are particular sites of ritual sonic expression linked to larger social and political forces, including colonial encounters and postcolonial struggles for nationhood? I am interested in pursuing these questions through both ethnographic and historical methods and in brining music and sound studies into dialogue with religious studies. Previously, I earned a BA in Music from Wesleyan University and an MAR in religion from the Yale Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music.