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Public Culture

An interdisciplinary journal of transnational cultural studies

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John L. Jackson

John L. Jackson Photo

John L. Jackson, Jr., is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Penn, Jackson taught in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and spent three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows. Jackson received his BA in Communications (Radio, TV, Film) from Howard University in Washington DC and his PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University in New York City. 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). He has published four books, 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, 2008; released in paperback in 2010), and Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem (Harvard University Press, 2013). Jackson is currently working on two documentary films, one about contemporary conspiracy theories in urban America, another examining the history of state violence against Rastafari in Jamaica.

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About the Journal

Public Culture is a reviewed interdisciplinary journal of cultural studies, published three times a year in Fall, Winter, and Spring for the Institute for Public Knowledge by Duke University Press. The journal's full archives are available online at

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