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Anne E Pfister

Assistant Professor

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Bio-cultural Medical Anthropology, Socio-linguistic Anthropology, Applied Anthropology, Disabilities Studies, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning


Doctorate of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
Applied Anthropology, Bio-cultural Medical Anthropology Concentration


Master of Science, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY
Multidisciplinary Studies, International Education


Diplomado (Diploma), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Literatura Latinoamericana (Latin American Literature)


Post-Bachelor Educator Certification, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
General Education (K-8)


Bachelor of Arts, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO


I am an applied medical anthropologist. My research investigates the experience of deafness among deaf children and their families in Mexico City, Mexico. To address the interrelatedness of human biology, culture, and language among deaf participants, I integrate the analytical lens of medical anthropology with sociocultural-linguistic theoretical approaches. I designed my yearlong community-based research utilizing innovative ethnographic methodology, including photovoice and personal history timelines with deaf sixth graders at a not-for-profit deaf school called IPPLIAP. "Photovoice" involves participatory analysis of deaf youth's photographs in response to themes such as Mexican Sign Language, Family, and A Day in My Life.


In January 2018, I will establish a longitudinal study that will allow me to follow up with the same deaf participants with whom I worked in 2012-13. We will use the digital images they created as a springboard for investigating their personal, educational, and social developments. These students are the first generation of graduates from IPPLIAP to travel as a signing cohort to secondary school and will be high school freshman when I return to continue our project. This longitudinal design is also an opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of IPPLIAP's cohort-based secondary program.


I came to UNF from the University of South Florida where I earned my PhD in Applied, Medical Anthropology. Prior to moving to Jacksonville, I  taught in Mexico, Cambodia, Colorado, Arizona, and Florida. I love anthropology, especially the intersections of biology and culture. I also enjoy motherhood and spending time with my family, being outdoors, art of all kinds, and learning new things.


2016 Best Cultural Anthropology Dissertation Award -


2015 Golden Bull Award - University of South Florida


2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Presentation, Anthropology - Florida Academy of Sciences


2013 Top Paper Award - Identities and Inequalities in a Globalizing World Conference 


2012 Graduate Student Success Fellowship (2012-2015)


2011 Provost's Teaching Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant - USF


2009 East-West Center Guest-Teaching Appointment, Cambodia


2005 Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange - declined


Research Affiliations

2016+ Expert Advisor, Zika Response Team
               Anthrologica (contracting for World Health Organization)

2015+ Research Scholar
     Grupo AFIN (adopciones, familias, infancias)
               Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Professional Memberships & Organizations

American Anthropological Association
National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group
Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Society for Applied Anthropology
American Association of Applied Linguistics

Grants and Contracts Awarded

2017 Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Award - Mexico


2013 P.E.O. Scholar Award


2012 Fulbright García-Robles Scholarship - Mexico                                


2010 Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (USF) - Research Mini-Grant

Publications & Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Vindrola-Padros, Cecilia, Johnson, Ginger A. and Pfister, Anne E., eds. (in press). Healthcare in Motion: (Im)mobilities in Health Service Delivery and Access. Berghahn Books.
  • Pfister, Anne E., Vindrola-Padros, Cecilia (in press) Fluid and Mobile Identities: Travel, Imaginaries, and Practices of Caregiving among Families of Deaf Children. In Healthcare in Motion. Berghahn Books. 
  • Pfister, Anne E. (2017). Forbidden Signs: Language Socialization and Therapeutic Approaches to Language in Mexico. Ethos. 45(1):139-161.
  • Pfister, Anne E., Lende, Daniel H. (2017). Language Readiness and Learning among Deaf Children. Behavioral and Brain Science 40
  • Vindrola-Padros, Cecilia, Pfister, Anne E., Johnson, Ginger A. (2015). The Role of Anthropology in Improving Services for Children and Families: An Introduction. Annals of Anthropological Practice 39(2): 89-95. 
  • Pfister, Anne E. (2015) Myths and Miracles in Mexico City: Treatment Seeking, Language Socialization, and Identity among Deaf Youth and their Families. PhD Dissertation, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
  • Pfister, Anne E., Vindrola-Padros, Cecilia, Johnson, Ginger A. (2014). Together, We Can Show You: Using Participant-generated Visual Data in Collaborative Research. Collaborative Anthropologies 7(1): 26-49.
  • Pfister, Anne E. (2013). Ethnographic Strategies for Engaging Deaf Youth Participants: Photovoice and Participatory Analysis. Student Anthropologist 3(3): 34-46.
  • Pfister, Anne E. & Teramoto Kimura, Yayoi. (2012). The Invention of a Didactic Tool for Learning Mexican Sign Language: Service-Learning and Innovation. Technology and Innovation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors 14(1): 17-24.
  • Johnson, Ginger A., Pfister, Anne E., & Vindrola-Padros, Cecilia. (2012). Drawings, Photos and Performance: Using Visual Methods with Children. Visual Anthropology Review 28(2): 164-178.

Photo Essays, Newsletter & Electronic Publications

2016 Observations through Photovoice: Interactive Digital Assessment and Authentic Learning beyond the Lecture Hall. Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. (


2015 Proyecto Fotovoz: The Everyday Lives of Young People Attending Instituto Pedagógico para Problemas de Lenguaje in Mexico City. Medicine Anthropology Theory (MAT) (


2015 Childhood and Deafness . Neos: Anthropology of Childhood and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) Newsletter Vol. 7, Issue 1. (


Contact Information

Building 51, Room 2229

(904) 620-5335