Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

Choose Red. Choose the Department of History and Anthropology.
Earn your B.A., B.S. in History


Dr. Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone

Wood 136B

Dr. Clifford-Napoleone is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and serves as Curator at the McClure Archives and University Museum at UCM. Her research interests are in the intersection of popular music, popular culture and sexual subcultures in the United States. Her expertise in museum science is in textiles and textile preventive conservation, museum anthropology, and Bedouin material culture. She is currently completing a study of the intersection of queer identities and heavy metal music.


Bachelor of Arts- History (Central MO State University) 1997
Master of Arts in Museum Science (Texas Tech University) 2000
Master of Arts in History (Central MO State University) 2001
Doctor of Philosophy- American Studies (University of Kansas) 2007
Dissertation: Queering the Inferno: Space, Identity, and Kansas City's Jazz Scene

2012-13 Visiting Scholar, Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, IL

Winner of the Non-Tenure Track Excellence in Teaching Award
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences- 2010

MO-KAN-NE Trio Achiever Distinguished Alumni Award, 2013

Textile consultant on the State of Missouri list of Conservators
Certified QualityMatters Peer Reviewer
Peer Reviewer in Collections Management for AAM's Museum Assessment Program
2008 Faculty Fellow, Center for Advancement of Contemplative Education, Naropa University
2011 NEH Summer Institute Fellow, "Ethnomusicology and Global Culture"
UCM's Phi Kappa Phi Secretary (2011) Board Member and National 2006 Unsung Heroine Award Winner
Advisor, UCM Anthropology Club
McNair Central Achievers Program Mentor and Advisor

*Cultural Studies and American Studies, with a focus on gender in American music scenes
*Women, Gender and Sexuality cross-culturally
*Museum Anthropology, material culture studies, ethnography and textiles
*Contemplative pedagogy

Selected Presentations 2008-2012
Paper, “Hell Bent for Metal: A Study of Queer Fans of Heavy Metal,” International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US, New York, New York, March 2012.

Organizer and Chair, session “Tidemarks and Frontiers: Disability in Anthropology,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, November 2011.

Paper, “The Leather Sisterhood: Heavy Metal, Masculinity, and Lesbian Fandom,” presented at  First International Conference on Gender and Heavy Metal, University for Music, Cologne, Germany, October  2009.

Presentation, “Terminus of the Southwest Territory: KC Jazz & Missouri’s Railroad Towns,” part of the New Harmonies program of the Johnson County (MO) Historical Society, October 28, 2009.

Chair and Panelist, “Exploring Sub-Cultures,” Central States Anthropological Society Annual Meeting, April 3-5, 2009.  Paper “Opening the Disciplinary Gates: Anthropology, American Studies, and the Study of “Jazz.”

Panelist, “Opening the Disciplinary Gates: Anthropology and American Studies,” American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 2008.


Selected Publications
Articles "Esther Newton" and "Class" in LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2009).

“Prostitution and Reform in Kansas City, 1880-1930” in The Other Missouri History (University of Missouri Press, 2005).

“Review: Out In Theory” in Archives of Sexual Behavior (Fall 2007).

“Review: The Motorcycle Diaries,” in Journal of Motorcycle Studies online.

Courses Taught
ANTH 1820: Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 3801: Applied Anthropology
ANTH 3850: Peoples of the World
ANTH 4815: Special Projects in Anthropology
ANTH 4820: Sexual Dynamics and Culture
ANTH 4860: Museum Studies
ANTH 4870: Comparative Cultures

Professional Organizations
American Anthropological Association
Central States Anthropology Society- Editor of the CSAS Bulletin
Society for Gay and Lesbian Anthropologists
Association for Feminist Anthropology
American Studies Association
Mid-America American Studies Association
American Association of Museums
Association for the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education

Favorite Anthropologist
Esther Newton- she did groundbreaking work in GLBTQ ethnography and American GLBTQ culture, wrote about performativity in a way that led to the development of critical theory, and paved the way for scholars like me.
Read more about Esther Newton