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
Research Disciplines

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 15+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Robin Rodd from 1996 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Political Studies Association - Grant

The Figure of the Citizen in Times of Crisis Workshop

Indicative Funding
The struggle of refugees to have rights recognised are often seen independently from emancipatory struggles to expand or retain the rights of citizens within states. These domains of struggle reflect two aspects of a singular global challenge to reformulate the figure of the citizen in the age of perpetual war and neoliberal governmentality. This two day workshop focuses on investigating the potentialities for the figure of the citizen between and within states: emergent political subjectivities and communities, and their implications for democratic practice and renewal.
Robin Rodd and Abigail Taylor in collaboration with Havva Murat (College of Arts, Society & Education and The University of Sydney)
Citizenship; Refugees; Democracy; Human Rights

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.

  • Political imaginaries of resistance and the possibilities for nonviolent re-existence:;;Australian decolonial practices in a global context – an ethnographic approach (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Designing Regenerative Cultures for Sustainable Futures: Living-in-Place in Costa Rica (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Hybrid Dreaming: Aboriginal esotericism in post-colonial context (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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  • 4.111, Social Sciences (Townsville campus)
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