I am an anthropologist and Latin Americanist with an interest in political theory.

My current research explores the ways that democracy can dissolve into dictatorship, and possibilities for art and museums to foster political memory and reflect on these transitions. 

Drop me a line if you are interested in pursuing post-graduate work in Latin America or Australia on a topic relating to democracy, authoritarianism, citizenship, art and memory.



  • I am a member of the Australian Political Studies Association and currently the Secretary of the Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia http://ailasa.org/
  • My research interests fall into two broad areas, medical anthropology including drug use and shamanism, and political theory especially relating to biopolitics, democracy, memory and citizenship. My regional area of expertise is Latin America, and I have conducted fieldwork in Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay. I explore what being a citizen means in different places and at different points in time. My research examines the ways that authoritarian political orders emerge from and dissolve into democratic systems, and how change or stability is legitimated in popular culture. I address the question of how citizens can be vectors of democratisation or dedemocratisation. My research draws on ethnography and historical and cultural analysis to explore the local specificities of rights, citizenship and political memory, and the antinomies of democracy, including constituent and constituted power, participation and representation, equality and freedom, servitude and insubordination, the individual and the community, and difference and universality. I am also interested in the ways that the cultivation of memory shapes popular conceptions of what is politically possible in Australia, Uruguay, Argentina and Venezuela. I work at an interface between critical theory and anthropology. This runs through the writing of Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, Roberto Esposito, Didier Fassin, Guillermo O’Donnell, Axel Honneth, and Claude Lefort, to Chantal Mouffe, Étienne Balibar, Jacques Rancière, Wendy Brown, and Sheldon Wolin.
  • I convene the JCU Critical Theory Seminar, and supervise a number of PhD projects on topics including: a biopsychosocial analysis of a drug addiction program in Peru; toreo as cultural heritage in Peru; everyday practices of and discourses relating to democracy in feminist community organisations in Australia and Argentina; and slam poetry and the exclusions of multicultural citizenship in Australia.
  • In the media: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2016/s4547387.htm http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-28/what-is-hallucinogen-ayahuasca/7442714 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-10/the-new-age-of-ayahuasca/7257244 http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/a-local-perspective-on-ayahuasca/8354012

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 17+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Robin Rodd from 1996 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Occult politics and the esoteric self in Aboriginal Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Political imaginaries of resistance and the possibilities for nonviolent re-existence: Australian decolonial practices in a global context – an ethnographic approach (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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