Amy E. Alterman

Amy E. Alterman

Ph.D. in Culture and Performance


Amy Elizabeth Alterman is a PhD Candidate and Teaching Associate in Culture and Performance at UCLA. With a masters in Public Health, she explores arts-based approaches for sexual and reproductive health education, advocacy, and activism. Specifically, her work focuses on the role of humor in destigmatizing taboo health topics such as abortion, contraceptive use, sex education, and LGBTQ sexual health. Currently, she has three main streams of research: abortion, contraception, and sex education.

Her dissertation research is an ethnographic study of the Abortion Access Front traveling comedy show. Through particpant-observation, semi-structured interviews, and questionnaire dissemination, she examines their Abortion AF Tour as a key Public Health intervention for abortion access in the United States. Additionally, she visits independent abortion clinics throughout the country and interviews abortion providers about barriers to provision, provider stigma, community support, and the role of comedy in the abortion movement. For more information about Abortion Access Front and their work, visit To learn why communities need independent abortion clinics, read Abortion Care Network's 2019 report,

Methodologically, she positions herself as a feminist ethnographer engaged in critical interdisciplinary research. She applies a feminist ethnographic approach that prioritizes interpersonal and community-level cultural performances, as well as discourse analysis. She frames her research in the context of practical implications and outcomes for sexual and reproductive health policy and public health practice. As an interdisciplinary scholar of sexual and reproductive health, she explicitly seeks to summon the literatures and methods of gender studies, performance studies, (medical) anthropology, and public health to demonstrate and argue for critical feminist analyses and solutions to public health problems.

Areas of Interest

Sexual & reproductive health & rights, reproductive governance, reproductive justice, abortion, contraception, sex education, LGBTQ health & rights, arts activism, health access & equity, feminist ethnography, feminist mixed methods, and Medical Anthropology.


  • Ph.D Candidate, Culture and Performance, University of California Los Angeles
  • M.P.H, Community Health Sciences, Bixby Population and Reproductive Health Certificate, University of California Los Angeles
  • B.A., Gender Studies & Folklore, Indiana University Bloomington
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