Jodi Burkett

Visiting Scholar

Jodi Burkett is a visiting scholar in the Department of History.

"I am on sabbatical from the University of Portsmouth where I am Principal Lecturer and Subject Leader for History. I have been at Portsmouth since 2010 and before that taught at Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University and Leeds Metropolitan (now Leeds Becket) University. I graduated from York University (Canada) with my PhD in 2009, and completed my MA at McGill in 2004 and my BA at the University of Toronto in 2002. I was born in London Ontario, but moved to Waterloo before my first birthday – it is great to be home!

I am a historian of the late twentieth century, primarily interested in the ongoing impacts and after lives of the British Empire. In particular, my work explores how movements of people and ideas of race, nation and belonging have shifted and changed in the decades after the formal end of empire. I am currently working on a project exploring anti-racist activism among students between the late 1960s and early 1990s. This project focuses on a range of specific campaigns and solidarity actions – around apartheid in South Africa, the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’, the Chilean coup, and Palestine, for example – to ask fundamental questions about how attitudes and public discourses around concepts of ‘race, ‘racism’ and anti-racism where changing as well as how political convictions and activist commitments were shaped in student milieus and carried with individuals into their work and campaigning in later life. 

While here at Waterloo I plan to develop two further projects. The first is an interactive map of student protest based on newly digitised student newspaper archives. This map, I believe, would show the high incidence of student protest after 1968 which recent scholarship has hinted at, but has not yet been able to clearly demonstrate. This project would also begin to unpick some of the geographical and spatial elements of student protest showing regional variation, as well as the particular importance of certain spaces within the campus. The second project, still very much in its infancy, seeks to explore linkages between anti-racist activism in the post-colonial metropole and indigenous resistance to colonialism in settler states like Canada."