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headshot of Deborah A. Elliston

Deborah A. Elliston

Assistant Professor



Elliston is a sociocultural anthropologist pursuing questions of gender, culture, sex and power. Her areas of specialization include critical engagements with nationalism, colonialism and postcoloniality, with “race” and racialization processes, and with modernity, sex and desire. Specializing in the societies of Polynesia/Oceania, her field research projects have focused on an “overseas possession” of France commonly known as Tahiti and its Islands. Elliston's current research project there engages questions of sexuality, gender, desire and labor as well as the anthropology of fashion through fieldwork with raerae – male-bodied, femininity-performing, transgender sex workers.


  • PhD, MA, New York University

Research Interests

  • Feminist Anthropology
  • Sexuality Studies
  • Queer Theory
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Nationalism
  • Modernity
  • Oceania/Pacific