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Kim Kattari earned her PhD in Ethnomusicology and a doctoral certificate in Cultural Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. She received a Master of Music from UT Austin and Bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests in American popular and vernacular music include constructed nostalgia, working-class subcultures, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and the representation of zombies. Her ethnographic research on the psychobilly subculture explores the ways in which fans and musicians adopt and adapt 1950s culture, rockabilly, shock rock, punk, and horror motifs to express their “rebel” identities and negotiate a variety of economic and social challenges. She also continues to explore the pan-Latino identity politics of reggaeton, the subject of her Master’s thesis.
She has published articles about psychobilly and reggaeton in Volume: The French Journal of Popular Music Studies, Music Research Forum, and Musicological Explorations. The International Association for Popular Music Studies featured a web blog she wrote about zombies in the psychobilly subculture. She is a contributing editor of the Rockabilly Deluxe Magazine and continues to regularly publish journalistic articles about the contemporary psychobilly/rockabilly scene on Examiner.com. She has published book reviews in Latin American Music Review and World of Music, and has written entries on reggaeton, Latin hip hop, Nuyorican identity, music in nature, whale songs, and the Green Music Alliance for encyclopedias such as Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, The Grove Dictionary of American Music, and The Latin Music Encyclopedia. She presents at national and regional conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, American Folklore Society, Experience Music Project, and the Popular Culture/American Culture Association.
She teaches a variety of undergraduate music history, appreciation, and theory courses at Texas A&M University through the Department of Performance Studies, including History of Rock, Music and the Human Experience, Music in World Cultures, Music of the Americas, and 20th Century Music Theory, and a graduate seminar on the Performance of Vernacular Culture. She organizes the Performance and Culture Working Group through the Glasscock Center for the Humanities, and collaborates with Dr. Jeff Morris to organize and curricularize student participation in Fresh Minds, a student-curated festival that invites audio-visual composers and artists from around the world to TAMU based on student response to their works. She advises the Korean Media Association and AIESEC, has volunteered for Student Research Week and the University Scholars Honors Program, and has served as an honors advisor to non-music majors who were interested in researching a musical topic. In 2015, she served as the Local Arrangements Committee Chair for the regional Southern Plains Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, organizing the annual meeting on the TAMU campus. In addition to teaching piano lessons, she enjoys performing in Texas A&M’s steel pan ensemble (Maroon Steel) and playing keyboard in various local bands.