Dr. Elijah A. Edelman

Department, Office, or School
Department of Anthropology
  • Associate Professor

Dr. Edelman’s research takes an ethnographic and community-based approach in addressing how transgender and gender non-conforming communities become organized and managed through politics of racialization, pathologization and recuperation. Specifically his work undertakes a critical analysis of the personal, socio-political, legal, economic and health implications of gender transgression and sexuality among transgender and LGBT communities of color within the United States and in the global south. Dr. Edelman employs community-based research methodology in his work, including producing accessible publications with research communities, such as in the forms of blog posts, community forums, films and other media. He extends non-traditional forms of academic work into the classroom, structuring courses and assignments in ways that ‘talk-back’ to traditional modalities of learning, encouraging students to utilize mixed media in expression and research, including the production of short graphic novels, ‘Zines,’ and community map-making.


Ph.D., The American University

B.A., University of North Carolina-Greensboro

Selected Publications

Trans Vitalities: Mapping Ethnographies of Trans Social and Political. Routledge & CRC Press. https://www.routledge.com/Trans-Vitalities-Mapping-Ethnographies-of-Trans-Social-and-Political-Coalitions/Edelman/p/book/9780367539580

In Press Edelman, Elijah Adiv, with Ruby Corado, Elena Lumby and Nico Quintana. 2014 Washington, DC Transgender Needs Assessment Survey. Community-Produced Report

In press Edelman, Elijah Adiv. The Cum Shot: Trans Men and Visual Economies of Ejaculation. Porn Studies

2014 Edelman, Elijah Adiv and Lal Zimman. Boycunts and Bonusholes: Trans masculine bodies and the sexual productivity of genitals. Journal of Homosexuality 61:673-690.

2014 Edelman, Elijah Adiv. Not ‘In’ or ‘Out’: Taking the ‘T’ Out of the ‘Closet’. In Queer Excursions: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality. Lal Zimman, Jenny Davis, and Joshua Raclaw, eds. Oxford University Press.

2013 Edelman, Elijah Adiv. “Walking While Transgender”: Necropolitical Regulations of Trans Feminine Bodies of Color in the US Nation’s Capital. In Queer Necropolitics. Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman and Silvia Posocco, eds. Routledge. 

2013 Edelman, Elijah Adiv, with Jessica Murgel. “Biopolitical Economies in Higher Education Debt Formation.” Anthropology News. http://www.anthropologynews.org/index.php/2013/05/03/biopolitical-economies-in-higher-education-debt-formation/ 

2012 Edelman, Elijah Adiv, with Jason Terry. “DCTC’s Chief Problem: Organizers of the trans coalition find fault with Lanier's handling of anti-trans violence.” MetroWeekly.  

2011 Edelman, Elijah Adiv. This Area has Been Declared a Prostitution Free Zone: Discursive Formations of Space, the State, and Trans ‘Sex Worker’ Bodies. Journal of Homosexuality 68(6-7): 848-864. 

2010 Edelman, Elijah Adiv. “Looking Both Ways: Syringe Exchange with Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS). (short film)

2009 Edelman, Elijah Adiv. “The Power of Stealth: (in)Visible Sites of Female-to-Male Transsexual Resistance.” In Out in Public: Reinventing Lesbian/Gay Anthropology in a Globalizing World. Ellen Lewin and William Leap, eds. Pp. 164-179. Wiley-Blackwell. 

2009 Edelman, Elijah Adiv, with Audrey Cooper, Kathleen J. Grant, Noor Johnson, Khari Lamarca, William L. Leap and Michelle A. Marzullo. Beyond the knowledge/action divide: The race, gender and social justice concentration in American University’s Department of Anthropology. In 21st Century Approach To Teaching Social Justice: Educating for Both Advocacy & Action. Richard Johnson III, ed. Pp. 75-54. Peter Lang Press.

2009 Edelman, Elijah Adiv. “Whose Imagination? Complicating Attempts in Locating the Transgender Community.” Journal of Sex Research 46(1):97-98.

Areas of Expertise

Public and Applied Anthropology

Gender and Sexuality (with a focus on transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming identity and experience)

Queer Studies

Community-Centered Research Projects

Radical Cartography