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Tom Boellstorff

Dept. of Anthropology | University of California, Irvine
Presentation, "The Ability of Place: Digital Topographies of the Virtual Human on Ethnographia Island"

Tom Boellstorff earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Stanford University in 2000. He joined the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine in 2002, receiving tenure in 2006. He is the winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize given by the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists. From 2007–2012 he was Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association. He has been Co-chair of the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists and recipient of a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2016 he was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


This is a trailer for a documentary about my research project on disability, embodiment, and virtual worlds, which will appear in April 2018. My co-researcher (Donna Z. Davis) and I have really enjoyed working with the filmmaker (Draxtor Despres) and a range of our interlocutors in Second Life on the film.