Deborah Boehm, Ph.D.

Foundation Professor of Gender, Race, and Identity and Anthropology; Graduate Director, GRI
Debbie Boehm


Boehm's research focuses on how immigration and the production of "illegality" intersect with gendered family relations; the experiences of children and youth in transnational perspective; and, most recently, immigration control, detention, and deportation in the 21st century. Several publications have come out of this work, including "Intimate Migrations: Gender, Family, and Illegality among Transnational Mexicans" (New York University Press 2012) and "Returned: Going and Coming in an Age of Deportation" (University of California Press, 2016). Her research has been supported by an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Award, and residencies at the School for Advanced Research, the University of Arizona School of Anthropology, and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California-Berkeley. Current projects include a study of spaces of invisibility and isolation in U.S. immigration detention regimes and a collaborative project (with Susan Terrio from Georgetown University) about undocumented migrant children and youth who are categorized as "unaccompanied" by the U.S. government.


  • Cultural anthropology
  • Immigration, deportation and detention
  • Gender and women's studies
  • Childhood and kinship
  • Mexico, the United States and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands


Boehm teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Anthropology and the Gender, Race, and Identity Program, including cross-listed classes that explore topics such as gender across cultures, global movement and intersectionality.

  • Gender Across Cultures
  • Gender and Migration
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Introduction to Women's Studies
  • Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
  • Theories of Identity and Difference
  • Theories of Oppression

Selected publications


  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2016. Returned: Going and Coming in an Age of Deportation. California Series in Public Anthropology. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2012. Intimate Migrations: Gender, Family, and Illegality among Transnational Mexicans. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Edited volumes

  • Boehm, Deborah A. and Susan J. Terrio, eds. 2019. Illegal Encounters: Detention and Deportation in the Lives of Young People. New York, NY: New York University Press.
  • Coe, Cati, Rachel R. Reynolds, Deborah A. Boehm, Julia Meredith Hess, and Heather Rae-Espinoza, eds. 2011. Everyday Ruptures: Children, Youth, and Migration in Global Perspective. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Journal articles and book chapters

  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2019. "Un/making Family: Relatedness, Migration, and Displacement in a Global Age." In The Cambridge Handbook of Kinship. Edited by Sandra Bamford. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2017. "Separated Families: Barriers to Family Reunification After Deportation." Journal on Migration and Human Security 5(2): 401-416.
  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2016. "The Destinations of Deportation." Practicing Anthropology 38(1):36-37.
  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2015."'Now I am a Man and a Woman!'-Gendered Moves and Migrations in a Transnational Mexican Community." In The Gender, Culture and Power Reader. Edited by Dorothy L Hodgson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Boehm, Deborah A. 2013. "'¿Quien Sabes?': Deportation and Temporality among Transnational Mexicans." In Governing Immigration Through Crime: A Reader. Edited by Julie A. Downing and Jonathan Xavier Inda. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.


  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico