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Emerson Parker Pehl (they/them)

Profile picture for Emerson Parker Pehl (they/them)

Contact Information

248 English Building
608 S Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

FA23: by appointment
PhD Student, Literary Studies; Graduate Teaching Assistant for American Indian Studies


Emerson Parker Pehl (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is a PhD student in literary studies through the department of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their current cultural studies scholarship primarily focuses on Indigenous and Indigiqueer critiques of U.S. settler coloniality/colonialism and its logics. 

Emerson is also a clinical sexologist and is a licensed social worker (LSW) in the state of Illinois.

Research Interests

(queer) Indigenous theory & studies, settler colonialism studies, anticoloniality, gender and queer theory, transgender studies, human sexuality studies, (historical) trauma studies


M.S.W. with Trauma Specialization, Widener University, 2021

M.Ed. in Human Sexuality Studies with Clinical Sex Therapy Specialization, Widener University, 2021

M.A. in Gender/Cultural Studies, Simmons College, 2018

B.A. in Gender Studies and Psychology, Mount Holyoke College, 2014

Awards and Honors

2022-2023 HRI Interseminars Graduate Fellowship

Listed in Teachers Ranked as Excellent (FA21, SP22), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Courses Taught

As Teaching Assistant:

AIS 101: Introduction to American Indian Studies (FA23)

As Instructor of Record:

RHET 105: Writing and Research (FA21, SP22)

Additional Campus Affiliations

American Indian Studies Department

Gender and Women's Studies Department

Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory

The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies

Highlighted Publications

Pehl, Emerson Parker. “(Trans)Gender Fluidity.” Body Studies Journal no. 2 (2020): 1-8.

Pehl, Emerson Parker. “Hierarchies of ‘Treatment’: The Influences of Comorbid Psychiatric Diagnoses on Individuals with Gender Dysphoria.” Gender Forum no. 68 (2018): 25-40.

Recent Publications

Pehl, Emerson Parker. ""Annóóma Began the Story of Places": Land as Text." Kritik, Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory, 10 Oct. 2022.

Pehl, Emerson Parker. "it was never going to be okay (jaye simpson)." Transmotion, vol. 7, no. 2, 2021, pp. 202-6. 

Galupo, M. Paz, Lex Pulice-Farrow, and Emerson Parker Pehl. ““There is Nothing to Do About It”: Nonbinary Individuals’ Experience of Gender Dysphoria.” Transgender Health (2020): 101-110.