Leslie Robertson

Broadly, my research examines the circulation of forms of social knowledge (public histories, academic theories and representations, colonial legends, medical discourses), in sensitive political and cultural contexts (settler colonialism, medical crises, resource extraction, tourism development).

Primary ethnographic projects include research on: indigenous and settler historiographies; colonial regimes of difference, spectacle and narrative; and political histories of resistance in settler nations. As well, I explore forms of power and representation in the context of urban marginalization (drug use, sex work, health, and violence). I have conducted ethnographic, ethno-historical and applied research and coordinated a number of regional oral history projects with members of settler communities and First Nations in Western Canada. I am interested in community-based research, community-generated methodologies, and collaborative forms of ethnographic writing.

My recent research focuses on the afterlife of historical colonialism, how people from diverse cultural and social locations inhabit their histories, the imaginative resources they draw upon to speak about them, and the role of anthropology in translating and interpreting them. This includes attention to social projects linked to First Nations’ goals of self-determination: the re-inhabitance of histories and territories, naming practices, traditional food activism, and cultural impact research. I have developed a critical interest in community-generated and collaborative methodologies.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
Ecologies of Social Difference Social Justice

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