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 a 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 Coast and Strait Salish territories 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 completed my PhD in Visual Anthropology and Materiality in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Victoria. From 2017-2018, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Cultural Studies Department at Queen's University. "Go be with the maple trees for a while" a friend said to me. So I went to do this, though as it turns out, there were far more birch and oak. I also spent a lot of time by the rivers and the lake, reflecting on the post-Industrial landscape that is southern Ontario. In fall 2018 I shifted gears and drove myself out to Winnipeg to join the Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Ithiniwak Project as a Postdoc through the University of Winnipeg. I suspect I will spend a lot of time by the rivers here too. Time spent has been a nice part of this thing called the postdoc.

As a Visual Anthropologist, I am driven by my love of arts and culture, and by my belief that public art, performance, music, exhibitions, galleries, and museums can be spaces that create change. My research focuses 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 improving the relations between Indigenous and Settler communities and to unpacking the legacies of segregation, discrimination, and violence that affect many people across the territories now known as Canada. Investigating these relationships forms the basis of my work in research areas such as: Settler-colonial studies, performance theory, material and visual culture studies, creative research methodologies, community-engaged research, critical museology, and the evolving discourse(s) of human rights and social justice 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, art galleries, and museums as knowledge keepers and seek to find new ways for these institutions to take risks, to push boundaries, and to play active roles in producing anti-colonial, anti-oppressive, and inclusive pedagogies.

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, collaborative working methodologies, and innovative educational initiatives.

Current Academic Positions

Postdoctoral Fellow, Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Ithiniwak Project/ University of Winnipeg   Treaty 1 & Métis Territory/ Winnipeg, MB

Research Collaborator, Creative Conciliations Project see: http://conciliations.ca/

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


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