Erin L Durban

Erin Durban is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, affiliated with Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies and American Studies. They are an interdisciplinary scholar who is the former managing editor of Feminist Formations (the NWSA Journal) and has published articles and reviews in American Anthropologist, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Feminist Formations, Transgender Studies Quarterly, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, The Journal of Haitian Studies, Films for the Feminist Classroom, American Ethnologist, The Feminist Wire, The Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, and Anthropology News. *** Durban’s book, The Sexual Politics of Empire: Postcolonial Homophobia in Haiti (University of Illinois Press), was awarded the National Women’s Studies Association–UIP First Book Prize. It focuses on the gender and sexual politics of French colonialism and American imperialism in Haiti. The Sexual Politics of Empire chronicles contests between two transnational social movements in Haiti—evangelical Christianity and LGBTQI human rights—and Haitian mobilizations of antihomophobic politics. *** Durban co-edited a special issue of Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory titled “Nou Mach Ansanm (We Walk Together): Queer Haitian Performance and Affiliation” with Dasha A. Chapman and Mario LaMothe. The special issue followed a symposium at Duke University on gender, sexuality, and performance in Haiti curated by Chapman, and it is the first edited collection of scholarship in queer Haitian studies. *** Durban has two ongoing research projects. The first, “Plastic Futures: Transnational Engagements with Waste, Recycling, & Toxicity in Haiti,” brings together queer and trans theory, critical disability studies, and black studies to analyze plastic work and how people live everyday lives with plastic in the Anthropocene. The second, "An Ethnography of University Grove," is a collaborative project with Professor Miranda Joseph (GWSS) as well as approximately two dozen undergraduate and graduate students at UMN. The project is an experiment in accessible ethnographic research methods as well as an ethnography of the university that considers the legacy of building an all-white faculty neighborhood on the UMN St. Paul campus in the 1930s.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.


  • Feminist Studies
  • Transnational Feminisms
  • Queer and Trans* Studies
  • Critical Disability Studies
  • Transnational American Studies
  • Haiti and Haitian Studies
  • Critical Ecologies
Courses Taught
  • ANTH 1003 Understanding Cultures
  • ANTH 3047W Anthropology of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
  • ANTH 4013: Senior Capstone Project
  • ANTH 4035 Ethnographic Research Methods
  • ANTH 8810: Crip Times: Critical Disability Studies Now
  • GLOS 3900 Global LGBTQI Studies: Homophobia, Homonationalism, and Human Rights
  • GLOS 3900/5900 Accounting for Human Rights (Special Topics)
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Queer and Trans* Ecologies Interdisciplinary Working Group, Lead: 2020 - 2023
  • Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) Co-Chair: 2020 - 2022
  • Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) Program Committee Chair: 2016 - 2018
  • ISU Institute for LGBT Studies and Services Board Director: 2015 - 2017
  • Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) Community Advisory Board Member: 2013 - 2015
  • American Friends Service Committee—Colorado Program Director: 2002 - 2006
  • Postcolonial Disablement and/as Transition: Trans* Haitian Narratives of Breaking Open and Stitching Together: Durban, Erin, Transgender Studies Quarterly , 4.2 , 2017. Download
  • Nou Mache Ansanm (We Walk Together): Queer Haitian Performance and Affiliation: Durban, Erin, Dasha A. Chapman and Mario LaMothe, 2017, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 1-18. Download
  • Performing Postcolonial Homophobia: An Analysis of the 2013 Public Demonstrations Against Same-Sex Marriage in Haiti: Durban, Erin, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 27.2 , 2017. Download
  • The Legacy of Assotto Saint: Tracing Transnational History from the Gay Haitian Diaspora: Durban, Erin, Journal of Haitian Studies, 19.1 , 2013. Download
  • REVIEW Feminist Ethnography: Thinking Through Methodologies, Challenges, and Possibilities: Durban, Erin, Feminist Formations, 29.2 231-235, 2017. Download
  • REVIEW My Butch Career: A Memoir: Durban, Erin, American Ethnologist, 46 (3) 344-345, 2019. Download
  • REVIEW Undoing Border Imperialism: Durban, Erin, The Feminist Wire, 2014. Download
  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship, 2020 - 2022
  • National Women's Studies Association–University of Illinois Press First Book Prize, 2015
  • American Studies Association Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Award, 2015
  • Association of American University Women (AAUW) American Fellow, 2014