Tomal Hossain

Tomal Hossain Headshot
Co-Director, South Asian Music Ensemble
Cohort Year: 2019
Advisor(s): Anna Schultz
Research Interests: Indian Ocean Studies; sacred sound; religious nationalism; analysis of traditional music; digital humanities
Education: BA, Amherst College, 2017; Certificate in Ethnomusicology, Amherst College


My research concerns questions of religious belief and practice, identity, and nationalism as they pertain to contemporary sounding and music making among various religious groups across the Indian Ocean region. My current ethnographic focus in this line of inquiry is the contemporary music making of Rohingya refugees, though other contexts have included contemporary Bengali Qawwali performance in India and the sacred sounds of various transnational Sufi orders active today.

As a performer, I specialize in Bengali and Hindustani traditional voice and dabble in Arabic, Central Javanese, Karnatak, and jazz musics. 

Prior to joining the PhD program in Ethnomusicology at UChicago, I earned a BA in Computer Science and Music from Amherst College (2017)