Dr. Erin Kamler is an American writer, composer, musician and academic researcher who works at the intersection of feminist social justice and the arts. Over the past eleven years, Erin has worked as a researcher and gender equality and social inclusion consultant with international development agencies and NGOs including the United Nations, the World Bank, USAID, the International Finance Corporation, Human Rights Watch and Mercy Corps; and with numerous civil society organizations in Burma, Thailand, and throughout Southeast Asia. Her new book, “Rewriting the Victim: Dramatization as Research in Thailand’s Anti-Trafficking Movement” is available from Oxford University Press, and she has delivered lectures about her research at colleges and universities around the world.
An award-winning composer and playwright, Erin’s latest musical LAND OF SMILES received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland for its critique of the U.S.-driven crusade to combat sex trafficking in Thailand. Other musical projects include DIVORCE! THE MUSICAL, which made its 2009 world premiere at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles where it garnered the LA Times’ Critic’s Choice, Backstage West’s Critic’s Pick, won the 2009 Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Book, Music and Lyrics for an Original Musical, the 2010 Backstage Garland Award for Best Playwriting, the 2010 Backstage Garland Award for Best Musical Score, the LA Weekly Awards for Best Director and Musical Director, and was nominated for the 2009 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Original Score. Her work has been staged at New Dramatists, Berkeley Rep, The Public Theater, Playwright’s Horizons, and she is a three-time winner of Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwright’s Festival and University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award. A member of the Dramatist’s Guild, her musical RUNWAY SIXTY-NINE, about a strip club on the eve of the clean-up that transformed Times Square received New Dramatists’ 2008 Frederick Loewe Award. As a recording artist, she has performed internationally with her albums MANTRA GIRL: TRUTH, MANTRA GIRL: TRINITY and Kundalini Yoga Instructional DVD’s, and her music can be heard on numerous albums and films.
Erin holds a Ph.D. in Communication, an MA in Communication and an MA in International Public Diplomacy from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, and a BA in Music Composition from Sarah Lawrence College.
Erin divides her time between Southeast Asia and the United States, where she works as Assistant Professor of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI and Affiliated Researcher at Chiang Mai University. She is currently at work on a new book about women’s participation in Myanmar’s peace process, as well as a series of musicals, THE MONSOON TRILOGY, about human rights issues in Southeast Asia.