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John Jackson Jr., PhD  

Anthropologist, author, filmmaker

John L. Jackson, Jr., PhD., is an anthropologist, author and filmmaker. He is also the Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology and Communication in the Department of Anthropology and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson is an accomplished public speaker and has given invited lectures at some of America's most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, Boston College, University of Florida, Ohio State, Berkeley, Vanderbilt and many, many more. Jackson's research interests and speaking topics focus on race/racism, diversity issues, popular culture, urban studies, contemporary film, hip-hop, religion, Black Hebrewism, and media analysis.

His latest book, "Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness," identifies a new paradigm of race relations that has emerged in the wake of the legal victories of the civil rights era: racial paranoia. Crimes motivated by racism are now punished with particular severity, and Americans are more sensitive than ever when it comes to the words they use to talk about other races and ethnic groups. Yet the country remains divided along racial lines. African-Americans distrust the rhetoric of political correctness, and continue to see the threat of hidden racism lurking below the surface of America's public conversations. Conspiracy theories abound and racial reconciliation seems nearly impossible. Jackson explains how this skepticism is cultivated, transferred, and reinforced; how it shapes our nation and complicates the goal of racial equality.

Jackson is author of three 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), and "Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness" (Basic Books, April 2008). As a filmmaker, Jackson has produced a feature-length fiction film, documentaries and film-shorts, many of which 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 is currently conducting an ethnographic project examining Global Black Hebrewism, as well as completing a book on the philosophy of qualitative social science research. He is also working on a documentary film about conspiracy theories in urban America, Novus Ordo Seclorum, and a short video examining how African Americans use the Bible in their everyday lives.

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