Ying Diao is an ethnomusicologist and cultural anthropologist with research expertise in relationships between cultural production, ethnicity, and politics, and in the anthropology of religion, voice, and mediation. Her work has focused on the musical dynamics of cross-border ethnoreligious development and resilience among upland communities in southwest China and mainland Southeast Asia. Supported by the SEM Deborah Wong Research & Publication Award and AAS Publication Support Grant, her book project, Muted, Mediated, and Mobilized: Faith by Aurality on the China-Myanmar Border, examines how transnational sound production, circulation, and consumption become integral to the Lisu perception and striving after Christian faith amidst constraints and uncertainties. She earned her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland, College Park (2016). She was a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany, from 2017-2019, and a lecturer at the University of Minnesota in Spring 2022.
Ragamala Dance Company
Diao works with the Ragamala Dance Company, a 30-year-old presenter of traditional South Indian dance in Minneapolis. Diao explores how Ragamala makes its art relevant to contemporary American tastes and how its efforts are perceived among its target audiences.