John L. Jackson, Jr.

Richard Perry University Professor | Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice

Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University, 2000

Courses Taught:

ANTH542 Part I-Documentary, Ethnography, and Research: Communicating Scholarship Through Film/Video

ANTH842 The Filmic

SWRK603 American Racism

Research Interests:

Ethnographic Film and Visual Studies; Critical Race Theory; Globalization, Transnationalism, and Diaspora; Religion, Media, and Modernity; Social Theory; Urban Studies; The Politics and Poetics of Ethnography; Performance Theory; Africana Studies; Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.



 Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment, co-written with Carolyn Rouse and Marla Frederick, New York University Press (publication date, Nov 2016).

 Impolite Conversations: On Race, Class, Sex, Religion, and Politics, co-written with Cora Daniels, Atria Books [Simon and Schuster imprint], 2014.

 Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, Harvard University Press, 2013.

 Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness, Basic Civitas, 2008.

 Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity, University of Chicago Press, 2005.

 Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America, University of Chicago Press, 2001.


 Recent Articles:

“Ethnography Is, Ethnography Ain’t,” Writing Culture and the Life of Anthropology, Orin Starn, Ed., Duke University Press, April 2015.

“Conspiracy is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Hip-Hop, Aesthetics, and Suspicious Spiritualities,” in Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the U.S., Monica R. Miller, Anthony B. Pinn, and

Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, Eds., Bloomsbury Academic, April 2015.

“Half as Good,” in The Trouble with Post-Blackness, Houston A. Baker and K. Merinda Simmons, Eds., Columbia University Press, February 2015.

“Peter Piper Picked Peppers, but Humpty Dumpty Got Pushed: The Productively Paranoid Stylings of Hip-Hop’s Spirituality,” in The Hip Hop and Religion Reader, Monica R. Miller and Anthony B.

Pinn, Eds., Routledge / Taylor & Francis, November 2014.

“Theorizing Production, Producing Theory: Why Filmmaking Could Count as Scholarship,” Cultural Studies 28:4 (July, 2014).

“No Friends,” (a chapter from Harlemworld) reprinted in The Urban Ethnography Reader, Mitchell Duneier, Philip Kasinitz, and Alexandra Murphy, Eds., Oxford University Press, February 2014.

“An Americanist Anthropologist in Dimona: Notes from an Africanized Israel,” Ethnographic Encounters in Israel, Fran Markowitz, Ed., Indiana University Press, 2013.

“Ethnography Is, Ethnography Ain’t,” Cultural Anthropology 27(3): 480-497 (2012).


Partial List of Media Productions:

Co-Executive Producer, Sweet Tea: An Ethnographic Film (Non-Fiction).


Co-Executive Producer, Not Just TV: HBO, the 1970s, and the Idea of Pay TV (Non-Fiction).


Producer, Director, Bald as I Am: Life, Love and Alopecia (Non-Fiction).


Executive Producer, Four Days in May: Extradition from a Jamaican Community (Non-Fiction).


Co-Producer, Co-Director, Editor, Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens (Non-Fiction) Distributed by Third World Newsreel.



Partial list of screenings:

• Paddington Arts Center, London, England, July 2013

• Robben Island Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, July 2013

• University of Puerto Rico, April 2012

• Rutgers University, March 2012

• York University, March 2012

• Caribbean Creativity Festival, Amsterdam, February 2012

• San Diego Black Film Festival, January 2012

• Scribe Video Center, Philadelphia, December 2011

• Reggae Culture Salute, Brooklyn, November 2011 (New York City Premiere)

• Hollywood Black Film Festival, October 2011

• CUNY Graduate Center, October 2011

• Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival, September/October 2011

• Duke University, September 2011

• Bob Marley Museum, Kingston, Jamaica (Premiere), June 2011

• Caribbean Studies Association Meetings, Curacao, June 2011 (Preview)

• Human Rights Film Festival, University of Virginia, April 2011 (Preview)

• Yale University, Caribbean Studies: Prisms and Practices, April 2011 (Preview)

• University of the West Indies, Rastafari Studies Conference, August 2010 (Preview)


Other Service and Research:

Faculty co-founder and coordinator (with Deborah Thomas and Stanton Wortham) of EE, Experimental Ethnography (formerly PIVPE, the Penn Initiative on Visual and Performative Ethnography), 2013-present.

Faculty co-founder and coordinator of CAMRA, a multimodal site for scholarly research:, 2011-present.

Editor-in-Chief of the Anthropology Module for Oxford Bibliographies Online:, 2010-present.

Co-editor (with David Kim) of the book series RaceReligion for Stanford University Press, 2011-present.


215 746 0440


Department of Anthropology Annenberg School for Communication Department of Africana Studies School of Social Policy & Practice