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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Deborah E. Moon, M.A.

Senior Lecturer

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Research in Progress

I am interested in the construction and ritual use of public spaces as memorialization sites of death.  My particular area of focus explores the roadside descansos of South Texas, where personal material culture is placed and ritually engaged to commemorate a person at the roadway site of her or his death.  More recently, my interest considers the tensions and intersections between traditionally crafted materials and the emergence of commercially appropriated memorial objects manufactured for descanso sites.  The tensions between the individual and the commercial expose the potential de-personalization of descanso memorialization and influence how constructors engage, process, and view the site of death.

Honors and Awards: Member of the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award (2015), UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Teaching (2014).


M.A., University of Texas at San Antonio, 2008


I teach upper- and lower-level undergraduate courses.  My courses include four-field, linguistic, and cultural anthropology as well as topical courses in ritual and symbol; folklore and folklife; sex, gender, and sexuality; Indians of the Great Plains; and ceremonial practices of Native North Americans.  I also advise undergraduate students as the Undergraduate Advisor of Record.


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Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-1644