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John L. Jackson Jr.

Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology

Professor of Africana Studies

Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice

John L. Jackson, Jr., is Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and Richard Perry University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson received his BA in Communication (Radio/TV/Film) from Howard University, his PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University, and served as a junior fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He is the author of 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); Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness (Basic Civitas, 2008); Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem (Harvard University Press, 2013); Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion, co-written with Cora Daniels (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2014), and Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment (NYU Press, 2016), co-written with Carolyn Rouse and Marla Frederick. As a filmmaker, Jackson has produced a feature-length fiction film, 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). One of his most recent films, co-directed with Deborah A. Thomas, is Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens (Third World Newsreel, 2012). Jackson previously served as Senior Advisor to the Provost on Diversity and Associate Dean of Administration in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Research Interests

  • Ethnographic Film and Visual Studies
  • Race Theory
  • Globalization, Transnationalism, and Diaspora
  • Media Anthropology
  • Urban Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Performance Theory
  • Popular Culture