Erin Durban

Erin L. Durban (they/them) is a white, queer, nonbinary, disabled, and chronically ill professor who serves on the CDSC Leadership Team. They are an interdisciplinary scholar activist who has published the following articles and chapters in critical disability studies: “ Postcolonial Disablement and/as Transition: Trans* Haitian Narratives of Breaking Open and Stitching Together ” (2017) in Transgender Studies Quarterly, “Anthropology and Ableism” (2021) in American Anthropologist, and “Doing It Together: A Queer Case for Cripping Ethnography” in Unsettling Queer Anthropology: Foundations, Reorientations, and Departures (2024).

Durban is on sabbatical for the 2023-2024 academic year to write their second book, “Enabling Ethnography.” The traditional model of ethnographic fieldwork relies on hypermobile researchers negotiating their informants’ immobilities, a residue of the interrelated white, colonial, masculinist, and ableist design of anthropology. “Enabling Ethnography” argues that a greater diversity of researcher bodyminds enhances ethnographic inquiry and analysis for interdisciplinary humanities scholarship. Developed from two collaborative research projects—one an
experiment in anti-ableist research design about universities and racial inequality, the other an oral history project with disabled anthropologists—this project additionally makes a significant methodological contribution in terms of thinking through the details of disability accessibility and collective access in ethnographic fieldwork.

Their activities for the CDSC have included organizing critical disability studies programming on campus (such as the Queer and Trans* Ecologies Symposium), consulting about disability accessibility and collective access
in research and teaching, and representing the CDSC on the RIDGS Advisory Board. Durban additionally served as a liaison on the University Senate Disability Issues Committee (2020-2023).

Photo is a headshot of Erin smiling, with short brown and grey hair, clear-framed glasses, a silver nose ring, and a black button-up shirt.

Erin L. Durban