Erin Moriarty

My name is Erin Moriarty, and I am from the United States. In 2017, I received my doctorate from American University in Washington, DC. My field is Anthropology and I have conducted research with deaf people in Cambodia. My research interests are: language use, translanguaging, sign language documentation projects, international development, and NGO interventions. I am also interested in how different ideas about deaf people and deaf identities travel throughout the world, especially from locations in the global North. My new research, which I’m very excited about, focuses on deaf tourism in Indonesia, specifically Bali. The MobileDeaf team’s focus on visual anthropology and developing new methodologies for deaf-related research is one of the things that drew me to this project.


Erin Moriarty Harrelson
Heriot-Watt University
Dept. of Language & Intercultural Studies
School of Social Sciences
Henry Prais Building 2.01
Edinburgh EH14 4AS


Erin’s current project:

Erin’s research blog from her 2014-2015 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship:


Journal articles

2021 Moriarty, E., & Kusters, A. Deaf cosmopolitanism: calibrating as a moral process. International Journal of Multilingualism18(2), 285-302. available open access: LINK

2020 Moriarty, Erin. Filmmaking in a linguistic ethnography of deaf tourist encounters. Sign Language Studies 20:4. available open access:

2020    Moriarty, Erin. “Sign to me, not the children”: Ideologies of Language Contamination at a Deaf Tourist Site in Bali. Language & Communication. available open access: 

2019    De Meulder, Maartje; Kusters, Annelies; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Murray, Joseph. Describe, don’t prescribe. The practice and politics of translanguaging in the context of deaf signers. available open access:  Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

2019    Deaf People with “no language”: Mobility and flexible accumulation in languaging practices of deaf people in Cambodia. Applied Linguistics Review 10 (1)

Edited Volumes

2020 Annelies Kusters, Erin Moriarty, Kristin Snoddon, and Mara Green, eds. Sign Language Ideologies in Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

[Forthcoming]     Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje; Moriarty-Harrelson, Erin. Researching language attitudes in signing communities. In: Zipp, Lena and Kircher, Ruth. Research Methods in Language Attitudes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2020                Kusters, Annelies; Green, E. Mara; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Snoddon, Kristin;. ‘Sign Language Ideologies: Practices and Politics.’ In: Kusters, Annelies; Green, E. Mara; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Snoddon, Kristin. (Eds). Sign Language Ideologies in Practice. Mouton de Gruyter / Ishara Press.

2020  Exploring sign language histories and documentation projects in post-conflict areas. In Annelies Kusters, Erin Moriarty Harrelson, Kristin Snoddon, and Mara Green, eds. Sign Language Ideologies in Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

2017       Authenticating Ownership: Claims to Local Deaf Ontologies in the Global South. In Annelies Kusters, Maartje De Meulder and Dai O’Brien, eds. Innovations in Deaf Studies: The Role of Deaf Scholars. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

2015       The Global Circuit: Deaf Tourists and NGOs in Cambodia. In Michele Friedner and Annelies Kusters, eds. “It’s a Small World”: Inquiries into International Deaf Spaces. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Encyclopedia Entries

2015       Asia, South Eastern, Deaf Community. In Patrick Boudreault and Genie Gertz, eds. The Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. Sage Publications.

Book reviews

2020    “Variation in Indonesian Sign Language: A Typological and Sociolinguistic Analysis by Nick Palfreyman (review)”. Sign Language Studies.

2017       “Signing and Belonging in Nepal by Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway (review).” Sign Language Studies 17, no. 3 (2017): 399-402. 

Invited Contributions

2015       Letter from a Friend. In The Urns: Nothing is Permanent. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Sleuk Rith Institute (SRI).