Dr Eric Woods

Dr Eric Woods

Lecturer in Sociology

School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Eric is interested in culture, media, and politics. He is currently co-writing a book for Oxford University Press, which examines the ethno-nationalist Twitter communication of right-wing political leaders in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Research for the book is funded by competitive grants from the British Academy and the Social Science Research Council of Canada.

In addition to his role at Plymouth University, Eric serves as a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University, and he is an editor of the journals Cultural Sociology and Nations and Nationalism. Prior to joining Plymouth University, Eric was based at the University of East London. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Teaching interests

Eric has extensive experience teaching a wide range of themes in sociology, political science, and communication & media studies. Currently, he is 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, Eric taught at the London School of Economics, Birkbeck College, and the University of East London.

Research interests

Eric's main research project currently is a comparative analysis of the Twitter communication of ethno-nationalist leaders in America, France, and the UK. This research is funded by competitive grants from the British Academy and the Social Science Research Council of Canada. Eric carries out this research in collaboration with Dr Robert Schertzer (University of Toronto), and with the assistance of an international team of 6 PhD researchers. The first major output from this project will be a monograph with Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2021). Eric and Robert also recently published an article in Ethnic and Racial Studies, which analyses nearly 6,000 of Trump’s tweets. A subsequent article comparing Trump’s Tweets with those of Marine Le Pen and Leave.eu is currently under preparation.

Eric's research interests also include an abiding concern with the politics of trauma and memory in the former British Empire. His recent book for Palgrave (2016) draws on archived printed media, documentaries, and oral history to analyse a long-running struggle over collective responsibility within Canadian Anglicanism over their role in forced assimilation and abuse of Indigenous Canadians. The book provided the basis for the 2019 ‘Tri-History’ conference – the leading conference for Anglican history in North America. Eric's recent article in the American Journal of Cultural Sociology (2019) proposes a new framework for analyzing memory politics through an analysis of Tate Britain’s 2016 ‘Artist and Empire.’ The article provides a new understanding of struggles over Britain’s imperial past, and prospects for a postcolonial national identity.


  • Woods, Eric Taylor, Liah Greenfeld, Chris Hughes, Cynthia Miller-Idriss & Robert Schertzer (2020) 'Nationalism and COVID-19: A Scholarly Exchange'. Nations and Nationalism. Online first: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nana.12644
  • Schertzer, Robert & Eric Taylor Woods. 2020. ‘#Nationalism: The Role of Ethno-nationalist Populism in Donald Trump’s Twitter Communication’, Ethnic and Racial Studies. Online First: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2020.1713390
  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2019). ‘The Anatomy of Memory Politics: A Formalist Analysis of Tate Britain’s Artist and Empire and the Struggle over Britain’s Imperial Past’, American Journal of Cultural Sociology. Online First: DOI: 10.1057/s41290-019-00081-y.
  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2019). ‘Cultural Trauma: Ron Eyerman and the Founding of a New Research Paradigm’, American Journal of Cultural Sociology. 7(2): 260-74.
  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2015). ‘Cultural Nationalism: a Review and Annotated Bibliography’, Studies on National Movements, 2: 1-26.

  • Woods, Eric Taylor and Mira Debs. (2013). ‘Towards a Cultural Sociology of Nationalism Studies’, Nations and Nationalism 19(4): 607-14.

  • Woods, Eric Taylor & Mira Debs. (Eds.) 2013. ‘Themed Section on Cultural Sociology and Nationalism Studies’, Nations and Nationalism 19(4).

  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2013). ‘A Cultural Approach to a Canadian Tragedy: The Indian Residential Schools as a Sacred Enterprise’, International Journal of Politics, Society and Culture 26(2): 173-187.

  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2012). ‘Beyond Multinational Federalism: Reflections on Nations and Nationalism in Canada’, Ethnicities, 12(3): 270-92.

  • Woods, Eric Taylor & Robert Schertzer. (2011). ‘Ethno-national Conflict and its Management’, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 49(2): 153-161. [Reprinted in Woods et al., Nationalism and Conflict Management] 

  • Woods, Eric Taylor & Robert Schertzer (Eds.) 2011. ‘Special Issue on Nationalism and Conflict Management’, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 49(2). [Reprinted in Woods et al., Nationalism and Conflict Management]

  • Schertzer, Robert. & Eric Taylor Woods. (2011). ‘Beyond Multinational Canada’, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 49(2): 196-222.


  • Woods, Eric Taylor & Robert Schertzer. (Forthcoming, 2021). ‘The New Nationalism in America and Beyond’ – under contract with Oxford University Press.
  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2016). A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada: The Long Road to Apology. Palgrave.
  • Tsang, Rachel & Eric Taylor Woods (Eds.) 2014. The Cultural Politics of Nationalism and Nation-Building: Ritual and Performance in the Forging of Nations. Routledge.
  • Woods, Eric Taylor & Robert Schertzer (Eds.) 2012. Nationalism and Conflict Management. Routledge.


  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2019). ‘Conclusion: Ron Eyerman and the Study of Cultural Trauma’, in R. Eyerman, Memory, Trauma, and Identity. Palgrave.
  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2017). ‘On the Making of a National Tragedy: The Transformation of the Meaning of the ‘Indian Residential Schools’ in Canada’, in B-Y. Capitaine & Karine Vanthuyne (Eds.) Power Through Testimony: Reframing Residential Schools in the Age of Reconciliation. University of British Columbia Press. 
  • Woods, Eric Taylor. (2016). ‘Cultural Nationalism’, in Jeffrey C. Alexander & David Inglis (Eds.) The Sage Reader in Cultural Sociology. Sage.
  • Woods, E.T. & Tsang, R. (2014). ‘Ritual and Performance in the Study of Nations and Nationalism’, in Tsang, R. and Woods, E.T. (Eds.) The Cultural Politics of Nationalism and Nation-Building: Ritual and Performance in the Forging of Nations. Routledge.