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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

FA24: By appointment.
PhD Student, Literary Studies
AIS Graduate Teaching Assistant


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 Treatment Specialization, Widener University

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

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

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

Awards and Honors

2022-2023 HRI Interseminars Graduate Fellowship

Listed in Teachers Ranked as Excellent (FA23, SP22, FA21), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Courses Taught

As Instructor of Record:

AIS 101: Introduction to American Indian Studies (FA24)

RHET 105: Writing and Research (FA21, SP22)

As Graduate Teaching Assistant:

GWS 275: The Politics of Fashion (SP24)

AIS 101: Introduction to American Indian Studies (FA23)

Highlighted Publications

Journal Articles

Pehl, Emerson Parker. "On "Deadnaming" the "Vanishing Indian": A Trans* Indigene's Poltergeist's Critique of Transnormativity and Its Settler/Coloniality." Transgender Studies Quarterly 11, no. 1 (2024): 80-96. 

Pehl, Emerson Parker. "To Choose Responsibility: (Queer) Indigenous Existentialism in A History of My Brief Body." Transmotion 9, no. 1 & 2 (2024): 245-54. 

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

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.

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

Book Reviews

Pehl, Emerson Parker. "it was never going to be okay (jaye simpson)." Transmotion 7, no. 2 (2021): 202-206. 

Public Writing

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