Thalea Stokes

Thalea Stokes
Cohort Year: 2014
Advisor(s): Travis A. Jackson
Research Interests: Mongolian hip hop culture and diaspora, traditional Mongolian music
Education: MA, Western Michigan University, 2013; BA, BM, Western Michigan University, 2011


Thalea Stokes (they/their) is a classically trained double bassist and a PhD student in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. They began studying double bass at an early age, becoming an active member of several professional orchestras by the time they graduated from high school. In addition to classical performance, they also cultivated a deep interest in different musical cultures, graduating from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in International and Global Studies, a Bachelor of Music Performance with a minor concentration in Mandarin Chinese, and a Master of Arts in Music with a focus in ethnomusicology. Their Master’s thesis, “Across the Red Steppe: Exploring Mongolian Music in China and Exporting it from Within,” is a comprehensive ethnography of the unique and diasporic effects of Mongolian music culture in China.

They recently returned from an extended dissertation fieldwork trip in Mongolia and China, where they conducted research on Mongolian hip hop culture broadly, and specifically the particular dynamics fostered through hip hop culture between Mongols in Mongolia and China. Stokes is currently in Atlanta, GA as they move through the final stages of their doctorate, and where they are laying the groundwork for their prime aspiration of establishing their own world music secondary school.




The Committee on Central Eurasian Studies

Teaching Experience

Intro to World Music (lecturer, Autumn 2017 and Winter 2018)