Welcome to my website. I’m a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of East London. I am a cultural and political sociologist with interests in the politics of identity, particularly in relation to nationalism, ethnicity, and religion. I also have an abiding interest in struggles over responsibility for the perpetration of suffering, and the politics of reconciliation in former British settler colonies.
I completed my PhD at the London School of Economics. During my studies, I served as co-Chair of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism. Currently, I am an active member of several journals and research associations. I sit on the editorial boards of Cultural Sociology and Nations and Nationalism, and I am a founding co-editor of The State of Nationalism. I’m also a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University, and a member of the Scientific Council of National Movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe.
My current research, which is partly funded by a grant from the Social Science Research Council of Canada, is a collaborative book project with Dr Robert Schertzer on the resurgence of ethno-nationalism in the West, focusing on how political leaders use Twitter to convey their nationalist messaging. Our first article from this topic, entitled #Nationalism: The Ethno-Nationalist Populism of Donald Trump’s Twitter Communication, has just been published with the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies. You can listen to us talk about how we apply our approach to understanding Donald Trump and the new American nationalism on the ASEN podcast.
My 2016 book, A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada: The Long Road to Apology, develops a theory of perpetrator trauma to analyse a multigenerational struggle within Canadian Anglicanism over its role in the abuse and forced assimilation of Indigenous children in Canada. My most recent research article, ‘The Anatomy of Memory Politics‘, puts forward a new approach to examining the politics of memory through a case-study of the struggle over Britain’s imperial past.
I have also led projects that seek to shed light on how national identity is constructed by integrating approaches from cultural sociology (published as a special issue for Nations and Nationalism) and theories of ritual and performance (published as a book entitled The Cultural Politics of Nationalism and Nation-Building). In addition, I have published several articles on the management of nationalism in diverse states, including an edited book on the topic, entitled Nationalism and Conflict Management.
If you would like to get in touch, please send me an email: E.T.Woods@uel.ac.uk