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Heather MacLachlan

Professor, Ethnomusicology

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Music


Email: Heather MacLachlan
Phone: 937-229-3915
FH 471


  • Ph.D., Cornell, 2009


Heather MacLachlan is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on music-making among Burmese populations, both inside Burma/Myanmar and in the diaspora, and on LGBT musical advocacy in North America. She is the author of Singing Out: GALA Choruses and Social Change (University of Michigan Press, 2020), Anthology to Accompany Gateways to Understanding Music (Routledge, 2020) and Burma’s Popular Music Industry: Creators, Distributors, Censors (University of Rochester Press, 2011). In addition, Dr. MacLachlan has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in a variety of scholarly sources including Ethnomusicology, the Yale Journal of Music and Religion, Metal Music Studies, Religions, American Music, Asian Music, the Journal of Burma Studies and the Journal of American Culture. Her article "Music and Incitement to Violence:  Anti-Muslim Hate Music in Burma/Myanmar" was awarded the 2023 Article Prize by the International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance (ICTMD) and the 2023 Helen Roberts Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology; both of these prizes recognizes the most outstanding article published in the fields of music and dance scholarship during the previous year.

Dr. MacLachlan was a Visiting Professor at Parami University in Yangon, Burma/Myanmar in 2018. She is the past Chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Gender and Sexualities Task Force and the SEM's Religion, Music and Sound Section. She also works as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem in the Montgomery County Juvenile Court. Prior to commencing her academic career, Dr. MacLachlan spent a decade teaching music in the public school system in her native Canada. She speaks English, French and Burmese and has taught in each of these languages at various times. Before coming to the University of Dayton, Dr. MacLachlan taught at Cornell University and Syracuse University.