Robin Whitaker, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Anthropology Associate Professor St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador robinw@mun.ca Office: (709) 864-7451

Bio/Research

My scholarly work lies in the broad area of political anthropology; I am especially interested in problems of democracy, citizenship and human rights, the politics of representation, and feminist public anthropology. Northern Ireland is my main ethnographic area, but I also work in Newfoundland a...

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Bio/Research

My scholarly work lies in the broad area of political anthropology; I am especially interested in problems of democracy, citizenship and human rights, the politics of representation, and feminist public anthropology. Northern Ireland is my main ethnographic area, but I also work in Newfoundland and the Republic of Ireland.

My earliest Northern Ireland fieldwork coincided with the start of the peace talks that led to the 1998 Belfast or Good Friday Agreement, and I have continued to do research in the post-Agreement context. This work addresses both the �traditional� ethnographic domain of face-to-face politics and what is conventionally understood as the public arena (mass media, electoral politics). The Northern Ireland Women�s Coalition, a party to the 1996-98 peace talks, provided my entry-point into the official peace process. Active membership in the Coalition � I was on the NIWC Talks team and was press officer in several elections � also forced me to grapple with problems of engaged and partisan research. Current research projects address debates about a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland and Newfoundland migrant labour in the Republic of Ireland. My MA research focused on Roman Catholic convents in Newfoundland. Future plans include new projects on international adoption and citizenship law in Canada and on human-animal relationships.

My teaching interests are quite varied: I regularly offer a course that gives second-year students a hands-on introduction to field research and have recently started teaching a senior undergraduate seminar in anthropological writing. I have developed a third year seminar in Engaged Anthropology and a fourth year course on the anthropology of Ireland. Other undergraduate and grad courses address the anthropology of gender and a range of issues relating to power and politics.


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