Welcome! Hello! How Are You?

My name is Jennifer and this is a site dedicated to my own research, collaborative projects I have been privileged to work on, and the creative works of others I find inspiring. As a researcher, I think visually—that is, images not only illustrate my thoughts, images help me to process my ideas. This site is place for me to do just this and to share what transpires. This is a jacket full of stories.

Please enjoy and if you have any questions feel free to contact me at: jcrobins@uvic.ca

Biography & Research Statement:

I am originally from Treaty 7 territory in the Prairies, but I have been very fortunate to call the unceded lands of the Coast and Strait Salish of the West Coast home for a number of years. Something about the ocean keeps calling me back every time I try to step away. It is a love I cannot deny and it is this love that drew me to Vancouver Island for graduate studies where I recently completed my PhD in Visual Anthropology and Materiality in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cultural Studies Department at Queen's University. "Go be with the maple trees for awhile" a friend said to me. So I am doing this, though so far, there are more birch and oak. I also spend a lot of time by the rivers and the lake. Time spent has been a nice part of this thing called the postdoc.  

As a researcher, I am driven by my love of arts and culture, and by my belief that exhibitions, galleries, and museums can be spaces that create change. As a Visual Anthropologist, my research is focused on the complexities of what constitutes Canada not only as nation, but Canada as an idea, a brand, a contested and colonial landscape, and a place filled with a multiplicity of cultures. As a Settler-Canadian scholar, I am committed to unpacking the unique but often fraught, relations between Indigenous and Settler communities across the territories of Turtle Island. Investigating these relationships forms the basis of my work in research areas such as: settler-colonial studies, performance theory, the materiality of media, visual and creative research methodologies, community-engaged research, critical museology, and the evolving discourse(s) of human rights in Canada. Through my work, I seek to highlight how the history and diversity of unique social and cultural groups in Canada intersect and challenge dominant government discourses of nationalism and multiculturalism in important ways. I remain critical of the role of public institutions such as universities and museums as knowledge keepers and seek to find new ways for these institutions to take risks, to push boundaries, and to play an active role in producing decolonizing pedagogies concerning rights and justice.

My approach to research is built from a mix of anthropological, historical, and creative theoretical perspectives and research methodologies. I situate this approach at the intersection of experiential processes of gathering data that come from phenomenological ways of walking and being in place, to visual narratives produced through the lens of a camera, to working with individual and community stories and oral histories, which require the true skills of learning how to listen. In all I do, I remain guided by my ethical principles that are grounded in culturally-specific ways of knowing and being in the world, community-based research protocols, collaborative working methodologies, and innovative educational initiatives.

Current Academic Positions

Postdoctoral Fellow, Creative Conciliations/Queen’s University
Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Territories/ Kingston, ON

Research Affiliate, Visual Anthropology Lab/University of Victoria
Lekwungen and Wsáneć Territories/ Victoria, BC

Education

2017 University of Victoria, PhD Visual Anthropology & Materiality

2011 University College London, MA Material and Visual Culture

2009 University of British Columbia, BA Anthropology Major, History Minor

2004 Mount Royal University, Diploma Arts & Science

Fellowships & Awards

2018 Canadian Anthropology Society Outstanding Graduating PhD Student Award

2016-2017 University of Victoria President’s Research Scholarship

2014-2016 Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Doctoral Fellowship

2015-2016 University of Victoria President's Research Scholarship

2011-2014 University of Victoria, Doctoral Fellowship

2009 University of British Columbia, Faculty of Arts Graduating Student Leader Award

2004 Mount Royal University, Faculty of Arts Archaeology Award