Her work focuses on questions of identity, material, and cultural practices. She has theorized these through the grounded analyses of a wide-ranging set of areas: from eating, sex, emotions and affects, spatiality, and writing. Elspeth has published several books in these areas, including Sexing the Self, Outside Belongings, Carnal Appetites, Sexy Bodies, and Blush: Faces of Shame (University of Minnesota Press, and UNSW Press, 2005), which focuses on shame as a positive force in society. In addition she has published over a hundred refereed journal articles and book chapters on research funded by competitive government grants from Canada, Hong Kong, the UK, and Australia totaling over several million dollars. Her current research brings together her interests in a new way – focusing on questions of food security, she is bridging paradigms of production and consumption through the study of fish, fishing and fishers globally and in regional Australia. This study, which elaborates a more-than-human perspective and methodology of fish-human communities, reveals alternative forms of globalization forged through routes of trade and technology, and brings into focus questions of ethnicity and gender.