Leslie Robertson’s research examines the circulation of forms of social knowledge (public histories, anthropological theories and representations, colonial legends, medical discourses), in sensitive political and cultural contexts.
Primary ethnographic projects include : indigenous and settler historiographies; colonial regimes of difference; life story and oral histories; radical methodologies. She explores forms of power and representation in the context of urban marginalization (drug use, sex work, health, and violence). She has 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. Scholarly interests include community-based research, community-generated methodologies, and collaborative forms of ethnographic writing.
Dr. Robertson’s recent research focuses on the existential 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 the re-inhabitance of histories and territories and realized through community-generated and collaborative methodologies.