Professor Durban is on sabbatical during the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Erin L. Durban is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, affiliated with American Studies; Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies; and the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

Their scholarship works at the intersections of interdisciplinary feminist and queer studies, transnational American studies, critical disability studies, and critical ecologies. Durban is the Co-Chair of the Association for Queer Anthropology and Co-Chair of Critical Disability Studies at UMN. They lead the UMN Queer and Trans* Ecologies Interdisciplinary Initiative that hosted a 600-person hybrid symposium in spring 2023. 

Durban is the former managing editor of Feminist Formations (the NWSA Journal) and has published articles and reviews in American AnthropologistWomen & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Feminist Formations, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, Transgender Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Haitian Studies, American Ethnologist, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, The Feminist Wire, and Anthropology News.

Durban’s first book, The Sexual Politics of Empire: Postcolonial Homophobia in Haiti (University of Illinois Press 2022), 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. It is the first edited collection of scholarship in queer Haitian studies.

Durban has been working on an experimental ethnographic and archival research project during the pandemic focused on collective access for researchers. "Professorville: The Racial History and Legacy of a University of Minnesota Neighborhood" is a collaborative project with Professor Miranda Joseph (GWSS) and more than two dozen undergraduate and graduate students at UMN. The project is interdisciplinary study 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
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Educational Background

  • PhD: , University of Arizona


  • Haiti and Haitian Studies
  • Transnational American Studies
  • Queer and Trans* Studies
  • Critical Disability Studies
  • Transnational Feminisms
  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Ecologies
  • Queer Anthropology