Leslie A. 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.
2012 -2015 Reasserting ‘Namgis Food Sovereignty in an Era of Climate Change OR, Three Boats and a Pickup Truck. Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.
2011- 2016 Repatriating Identity: Feasting and Potlatching to Reconcile Difficult Pasts.Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant.
Robertson, Leslie and the Kwaguł Gixsam. 2012. Standing Up with Ga’axsta’las: Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church and Custom. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Robertson, Leslie. 2005. Imagining Difference: Legend, Curse and Spectacle in a Canadian Mining Town. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Robertson, Leslie and Dara Culhane, eds. 2005. In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. Vancouver: Talonbooks.
2007 Taming Space: Drug Use, HIV and Homemaking in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. Gender, Place and Culture 14(5):527-549.
2006 Risk, Citizenship and Public Discourse: Coeval Dialogues on War and Health in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Medical Anthropology 25(4):297-330.
1998 A Penny for Your Thoughts: (Cultural) Properties of Anthropology in a Transnational Present, Anthropologica, XL (2): 97–214.
Recent Chapters and Research Reports
Robertson, Leslie 2016 Cultural Anthropology: Methodological Possibilities, in Ethnology, Ethnography and Cultural Anthropology. Edited by Paolo Barbaro, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, EOLSS Publishers, Paris, France, [http://www.eolss.net]. 26,000 words includes a glossary of terms and annotated bibliography of key references.
Terre Satterfield, Leslie Robertson, Anton Pitts and Diane Jacobsen and the ‘Namgis First Nation. 2015 Re-asserting ‘Namgis Food Sovereignty in an Era of Climate Change, OR Three Boats and a Pick-up Truck. (109pp. + appendices). Peter Wall Solutions Grant.https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/facultyresearchandpublications/52383/items/1.0307423
Terre Satterfield, Leslie Robertson, Nancy Turner, and Anton Pitts. 2012 ‘Being Gitka’a’ata: A Baseline Report on Gitka’a’ata Way of Life, a Statement of Cultural Impacts Posed by the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and a Critique of the ENGP Assessment Regarding Cultural Impacts.’ (125pp). Submitted to the National Energy Board, Joint Review Panel.
ANTH303A Ethnography of Special Areas - ETHNO SPEC AREAS Sections
A specialized study of ethnographic and theoretical problems in one area. Different culture areas or regions may be selected each term. Consult the Department for this year's offerings.
One fine body…
ANTH540D Advanced Seminar - CNTMP ETHNOGRPHY Sections
One fine body…
Robertson, Leslie A. with the Kwagu’ł Gixsam Clan, Standing Up with Ga’axsta’las: Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2012.
2015 Finalist (1 of 5), François-Xavier Garneau Medal, Canadian Historical Association, (shortlist March).
2014 Canadian Committee on Women’s History Book Prize. Women’s and Gender History. Canadian Historical Association, (May).
2013 ‘Exemplary Title,’ American Association of University Presses, (November).
2013 Wheeler-Voegelen Prize, American Society for Ethnohistory, (September).
2013 Canadian Aboriginal History Book Prize, Canadian Historical Association, (June).
2013 Clio Book Prize – British Columbia, Canadian Historical Association, (June).
2013 Finalist, Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize, Province of British Columbia, (May).
2013 K.D. Srivastava Prize (1 of 2), Office of the Vice-President Research and UBC Press, University of British Columbia (March).
Robertson, Leslie and Dara Culhane, In Plain Sight:Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2005.
2006 Winner, George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature and Publishing, George Ryga Society, BC Bookworld, and CBC Radio.
2005 Finalist, City of Vancouver Book Award, In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. City of Vancouver.