Skip to main content

Kim Kattari

Kim Kattari headshot
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor
  • LAAH 272
Professional Links


Primary Areas of Interest: Subcultural Studies, Popular Music, Steel Pan Performance, Performance and Altered States of Consciousness

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 primary research interest is Subcultural Studies. She is interested in how peoples’ lifestyles and interests (particularly non-normative ones) reflect and affect their personal experiences and identities. Her book, Psychobilly: Subcultural Survival (Temple, 2020), explores a musical subculture called psychobilly, which blends aspects of punk and rockabilly with lyrics, themes, and symbols derived from horror and 1950s B-movie subjects. The monograph explains why fans identify so strongly with this rebellious subculture, how they enact resistance through their performance of anti-mainstream identities and values, and how their participation in the psychobilly community impacts their lives in significant ways. Her articles on psychobilly and rockabilly have appeared in Journal of Popular Music, Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Punk & Post-Punk. The International Association for Popular Music Studies featured a blog she wrote about the representation of zombies in the psychobilly subculture. She was also a contributing editor of Rockabilly Deluxe Magazine and regularly published journalistic articles about the psychobilly/rockabilly scene on

Dr. Kattari’s research focuses on how subcultural participants imagine and cultivate a kind of utopia, an alternative to the world that disempowers them. She is working on new projects related to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scenes, as well as regional “Burning Man” events, that consider how participants enact and perform utopian communities. This work also examines the relationship between expressive performance and altered states of consciousness.

She has also published in Music Research Forum and Musicological Explorations on the pan-Latino identity politics of reggaeton. She wrote encyclopedic entries on reggaeton, Latin hip hop, and Nuyorican identity in The Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, The Grove Dictionary of American Music, and The Latin Music Encyclopedia. Ecomusicological entries on Whale Songs, Music in Nature, and the Green Music Alliance appear in Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

She has taught a variety of undergraduate performance history, appreciation, and analysis courses, including Evolution of the American Musical, History of Rock, Music and the Human Experience, Music in World Cultures, Music of the Americas, and 20th Century Music Theory. She regularly teaches Introduction to Performance Studies and the Senior Capstone class (Performance as Research). She has taught undergraduate and graduate seminars on Altered States and Performance, Performing Vernacular Culture, Latinx Expressive Culture, Performing the South, and Caribbean Cultural Performance.

Dr. Kattari’s primary instruments are piano, keyboards, and guitar. She is the faculty advisor for Maroon Steel, Texas A&M’s steel pan ensemble (Maroon Steel). She has performed in conjunto, gamelan, Afro-Pop, Latin American, and steel pan ensembles.

Dr. Kattari has served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Performance Studies since Fall 2020.