John L. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D.
John L. Jackson, Jr. is Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice. Beginning on January 1, 2019, he will become the fifth Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication. He also is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Africana Studies, and Anthropology. He is a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, holding faculty positions in Annenberg, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Social Policy & Practice. He has produced feature-length fiction films, documentaries, and film-shorts that have screened at film festivals internationally. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Harvard University's Milton Fund, and the Lilly Endowment (during a year at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina).
Jackson and Deborah Thomas, a professor in the Department of Anthropology in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, conducted a multi-continent (Europe, South Africa) screening of their documentary Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens (Third World Newsreel, 2012) in July 2013.
Jackson is the author of several books, most recently Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion (Atria [Simon and Schuster]), co-authored by Cora Daniels. His other books include Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem (Harvard University Press, 2013), Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2001), Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity (University of Chicago Press, 2005), and Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness (Basic, 2008), released in paperback in 2010.
Before coming to Penn, he taught in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and spent three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Televised Redemption Marla Frederick (Harvard), Carolyn Rouse (Princeton), and I are co-authoring a book that discusses qualitative research methods for studying contemporary black religious groups. It includes a special emphasis on the ways in which African-Americans deploy media technology as part of their religious/spiritual communities. Professor Frederick's contribution focuses on Christianity and televangelism. Dr. Rouse concentrates on Muslim self-representations in film and broadcast radio/television. I highlight how a particular segment of the Black Jewish community (in the United States and abroad) uses cable access programs, self-produced DVDs/CDs, and the internet to create a transnational spiritual/ethnic community.
COMM 000: Public Interest Social Science
COMM 210: Film and Reality: Toward an Anthropology of the Real
COMM 281: Race Films: Spike Lee and his Interlocutors
COMM 314: Anthropology of the Mass Media
COMM 420: Race: History, Theory and Practice
COMM 740/ANTH 640/AFRC 640: Africana Studies Proseminar
ANTH 640/AFRC 640: Africana Studies Proseminar
COMM 820: The Ethnographic Imagination
COMM 840: Media Ethnography: Theory and Practice
COMM 842: The Filmic
Beginning on January 1, 2019, John L. Jackson, Jr. will be the Dean of the Annenberg School. Jackson's research involves ethnographic methods in media analysis, the impact of mass media on urban life, mediamaking as a form of community-building and proselytizing among religious organizations, globalization and the remaking of ethnic/racial diasporas, visual studies and theories of reality, and racialization and media technology.