Dr Eric Taylor Woods

    Accepting PhD Students


    Profile summary

    My research and teaching examines the intersections of politics, culture, and media - with a particular focus on how these phenomena relate to nationalism. My most recent book (co-authored with Dr Robert Schertzer) is entitled, 'The New Nationalism in America and Beyond: The Deep Roots of Ethnic Nationalism in the Digital Age' (Oxford University Press, 2022). I have also researched the cultural politics of Britain's imperial past, and I have published extensively on Christian-Indigenous relations in Canada, including the 2016 book, 'A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada' (Palgrave, 2016). I have also edited several multi-author volumes on these topics, including on the role of rituals in the forging of nations; the potential for cultural sociology to shed new light on nationalism; and on nationalism and conflict management. Alongside my scholarly publications, I am keen to contribute to public debates through venues such as The Conversation and LSE Blogs.

    In addition to lecturing at University of Plymouth, I am a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University, and I sit on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals, including 'American Journal of Cultural Sociology', 'Nations and Nationalism', and 'Cultural Sociology'. I am also a founding editor of 'The State of Nationalism: An International Review,' which is an open-access portal for research on nationalism. Prior to joining Plymouth, I was a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Sociology at the University of East London. I hold a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    I was raised in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, a culturally divided region that has yet to chart a path towards a post-colonial future. Several years ago, my wife died while pregnant. The following year, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. These experiences impressed upon me how much my career as an academic to that point had depended upon a healthy body and mind. I am trying now to find alternative ways of pursuing my career. In doing so, I have become aware of just how remarkable differently abled people truly are - indeed, as is anyone who has sought to overcome significant challenges in their lives.

    If you are interested in applying to the BSc (Hons) Sociology programme at University of Plymouth, or if you are interested in pursuing a PhD with me, please feel free to get in touch. I currently have funds in place to pay PhD students for part-time research assistance for the next few years.

    Teaching interests

    I have extensive experience teaching a wide range of themes in sociology, political science, and communication & media studies. Currently, I am responsible for the teaching of social research methods and social theory for students enrolled in the BSc (Hons) in Sociology. Prior to joining Plymouth University, I taught at the University of East London, Birkbeck College, and the London School of Economics.


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