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Sadie Counts

Ph.D. Candidate


Preferred pronouns: she/her

Subdiscipline: Cultural Anthropology


Sadie Counts is a Knoxville native working towards a PhD in cultural anthropology with focuses on queer theory, Native studies, and museum studies. While at the University of Nebraska she discovered her love of queer and feminist theory, completing an honors thesis on manifestations of masculinity within Brazilian culture and its harmful effects on transwomen. She also worked at the Great Plains Art Museum igniting her love of museums which would carry over into her dissertation research. Since she started at UT, she has worked as a Graduate Assistant at the McClung Museum in both the Academic Programs and the Curation departments. She has curated several small-scale exhibitions and serves as the founder and advisor to the McClung Student Advisory Board. While at UT, Sadie obtained an MA in 2021 in cultural anthropology with a thesis exploring the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on a queer church. Sadie is currently working on her dissertation which explores the reappropriation of institutional spaces as means of dissent and resistance from queer and Indigenous communities in East Tennessee/Western North Carolina.



Collaborative Ethnography, Museum Studies, Queer Theory, Feminist Theory, Native Studies, Decolonization, Visual Culture, Aesthetics


M.A., University of Tennessee. Anthropology. 2021.

  • Graduate Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


B.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Global Studies. 2018.

  • Minor in Spanish
  • Minor in Anthropology
  • Minor in Women's & Gender Studies

Professional Service

American Anthropological Association, Association for Queer Anthropology

Awards and Recognitions

Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Award, Center for Student Engagement, University of Tennessee, Spring 2021

Contact Information