Welcome to my website.
I’m Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Sociology at the University of East London, where I teach courses on nationalism, cultural sociology and social theory. I also serve as co-Editor-in-Chief of The State of Nationalism: An International Review of the Study of Nationalism, and as a member of editorial boards of Cultural Sociology and Nations and Nationalism. In addition, I’m Faculty Fellow of the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology and a member of the Scientific Council of the research group National Movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe.
My research encompasses cultural, historical and political sociology, with particular interest in nationalism, (post-)colonialism and religion. Until recently, I have tended to focus on these phenomena as they relate to Canada. I’ve now adopted more of a comparative approach; currently, I’m conducting a study of settler nationalism and indigenous relations in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Lately, I’ve also become interested in former imperial states such as Britain, and the struggles over national identity that arise after the loss of empire. In this regard, I’m completing an analysis of Tate Britain’s recent exhibition Artist and Empire.
My most recent book, A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada, traces a long-running struggle within Canadian Anglicanism over the meaning of its civilising mission to the indigenous peoples of Canada, and its efforts to construct a postcolonial identity and embark on a process of reconciliation.
For nearly a decade, I’ve lived in London. Quite unexpectedly, I’ve fallen in love with the fast-changing metropolis. I was raised in the City of Saskatoon, a former Temperance colony founded near the site of the last major armed resistance to the Canadian state’s expansion into the great plains of North America. In recent times, Saskatoon has been referred to as the ‘Paris of the Prairies’ and the ‘Violent Crime Capital of Canada,’ a seeming paradox which gives the lie to the deep social cleavages that define a former settler colony that has yet to chart a route beyond its colonial origins.
Before I decided to pursue academia as a career, my work experience was mainly spent outdoors. I’ve worked as a tree-planter, grounds-keeper, and road-builder. Sometimes, when the weather is especially good, I find myself looking out the window of my East London office, dreaming of my former self working alone on a mountain-side, planting trees.
If you would like to get in touch on any aspect of my research interests, or publications please drop me an email E.T.Woods@uel.ac.uk or tweet Follow @EricTaylorWoods