John L. Jackson, Jr.: Black Gods and Red Devils: Race, Religion and the Re-Imagining of Africana Subjectivity

jjacksonSocial Sciences Forum
Monday, April 7 | 4:00 p.m.
7th Floor, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

Co-sponsored with the Africana Studies Research Colloquium, Department of Africana Studies.

Professor Jackson will discuss the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, a group of African Americans that emigrated from the United States to Israel in the 1960s. His talk will explain how this group understands their links to the ancient Hebrews and how they have spent the last 45 years in Israel creating a transnational spiritual community, with members in Africa, Europe and the Americas, that attempts to radically re-imagine what “race” and “religion” mean in the 21st century.

John L. Jackson, Jr., is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Africana Studies, and Anthropology in the Standing Faculty of the Annenberg School for Communication and the Standing Faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining Penn, Jackson 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. Jackson received his B.A. in Communications (Radio, TV, Film) from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and his Ph.D. 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 several 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, 2008), released in paperback in 2010. Jackson has just released Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem (Harvard University Press, 2013) and is completing another book (co-authored by Cora Daniels), Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion (Atria [Simon and Schuster]) that is slated for release in 2014. His most recent film, co-directed with Deborah Thomas, is Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens (Third World Newsreel, 2012).

Admission is free.

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