I’m a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Sociology at the University of East London, where I also serve as Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) in Sociology and teach courses in cultural sociology, social theory and nationalism. I received my PhD from LSE in 2012.
My research interests include: social theory; nationalism; colonialism; religion; collective memory; ritual and performance; communication and media; and museums.
I’m a member of editorial boards of Cultural Sociology and Nations and Nationalism, and co-Editor-in-Chief of The State of Nationalism: An International Review of the Study of Nationalism. In addition, I’m a Faculty Fellow at the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology and sit on the Scientific Council of the research group National Movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe.
My 2016 book, A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada: The Long Road to Apology, examines the role of the Anglican ‘civilizing mission’ in the forcible assimilation of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and subsequent efforts by the church to construct a postcolonial identity and take responsibility for its wrongdoings. To do so, the book develops a new approach for analysing the historical development of cultural processes.
Presently, I’m completing a book that compares Tate Britain’s recent exhibit, Artist and Empire, with its mirror exhibition held at the National Gallery of Singapore. The aim is to see how the differing contexts of former metropole and former colony have bearing on the production and reception of the same exhibition, and thereby shed light on the global circulation of the meanings of the British Empire. To conclude, the book discusses the possibility of reconciling differing narratives of the Empire.
I have also led collaborative projects that seek to shed light on how national identity is constructed, transformed and maintained by integrating approaches from cultural sociology (published in 2013 as a special issue for Nations and Nationalism) and theories of ritual and performance (published in 2014 as The Cultural Politics of Nationalism and Nation-Building). My 2012 co-edited volume, Nationalism and Conflict Management, argues for the need to integrate a nuanced and contextualized understanding of nationality.
In 2016, my wife died from complications related to her pregnancy. First our baby died and five weeks later she died. Since then, my reading of memory and trauma has taken on a new poignancy.
If you would like to get in touch on any aspect of my teaching or research, please drop me an email E.T.Woods@uel.ac.uk or tweet Follow @EricTaylorWoods