Jeffrey H. Jackson is J.J. McComb Chair of History at Rhodes College, regularly hailed as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. In 2011, Jackson won the prestigious Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research, Rhodes' highest honor for faculty.  For several years, he served as Director of the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program.

Jackson has researched extensively in Parisian archives and published books and articles widely acknowledged for their innovation. In recognition of his outstanding reputation, in 2007 the History News Network named Jackson a “Top Young Historian” in the U.S. Jackson received an extremely prestigious international fellowship to spend the fall 2007 semester in residence at the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris. There he deepened the archival research, inspired by hurricane Katrina, which he began on Paris Under Water in 2005. Jackson has also received national recognition for his previous research, winning highly competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Historical Association. One of his articles won the inaugural prize from the New York State Association of European Historians in 2002.

Paris Under Water has received extremely favorable reviews and discussions in the New York Times, Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, The Guardian, Financial Times, and elsewhere.



Jackson has become a sought-after expert in the history of Parisian culture at the turn of the twentieth century. Following the release of Paris Under Water, he was invited to speak at University College London, the American University of Paris, the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris, NYU's Institute for French Studies, Vanderbilt University, UNC-Chapel Hill, the Alliance Francaise gala in New Orleans, and elsewhere. He has also done numerous media interviews, including for the BBC.

Most recently, Jackson co-edited a collection of essays about cafés in European culture titled The Thinking Space:  The Café as a Cultural Institution in Paris, Italy, and Vienna.  This book collects research from an international group of scholars about the role that cafés have played in shaping intellectual debate, creative endeavors, and the urban settings of which they are a part.  Authors look at cafés as sites of intellectual discourse from across Europe during the long modern period.  Drawing on literary theory, history, cultural studies and urban studies, the contributors explore the ways in which cafes have functioned and evolved at crucial moments.  Choosing these sites allows readers to understand both the local particularities of each café while also seeing the larger cultural connections between these places.

Jackson also recently co-edited with Elinor Accampo a special issue of French Historical Studies, the leading North American journal in the field, on the theme of "Disaster in French History."  This issue brings together a series of articles by US and French authors to explore how cultures of risk and catastrophic episodes have been experienced in France from the 1500s to the present.  Questions of disaster and risk are not normally present in the scholarship on French history, therefore this special issue was designed to introduce a new category for analysis among scholars of France.


In 2004, Jackson began working with producers at WNET in New York to help develop an episode of Great Performances titled “Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Jazz Story” based in part on the research for his first book Making Jazz French: Music and Modern Life in Interwar Paris (Duke University Press, 2003). Jackson has appeared in an on-camera interview for this documentary which was broadcast nationally on PBS in August 2009. Jackson has also been interviewed by WCPN radio in Cleveland, Ohio, about his jazz research.


Currently in its second printing, Making Jazz French received extremely favorable reviews for the high quality of its research and writing, and is widely-regarded by students of jazz music as the best book in English on the subject. Of Jackson’s work, Jazzreview.com raved: “[A]n enjoyable approach to jazz on the European scene.... [A] topnotch reading experience, one that is both entertaining and informative.” Library Journal awarded the book a starred review, saluting it as: “Entertaining, informative, authoritative, and broad in scope, Jackson’s study will appeal to readers of varied interests.” Scholars of French history have lauded the book as well. Berkeley historian Tyler Stovall, writing in The Historian, praised Jackson’s work: “Making Jazz French is a valuable exploration of the cultural history of modern France, one that should especially inspire those interested in global perspectives on French history and culture.” Making Jazz French also received a review in The Guardian (UK) newspaper, along with substantial positive coverage in academic journals and in the jazz press. Jackson is also the co-editor of a collection of essays entitled Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines published in 2005 by University Press of Mississippi, another highly admired work which has further established Jackson’s reputation as a scholar whose work transcends the boundaries of traditional scholarship.
 

Jackson’s articles have appeared in several leading academic journals, including French Historical Studies; French Cultural Studies; French Politics, Culture, and Society; Journal of Popular Culture; Journal of Urban History, and Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A seasoned public speaker, Jackson has given presentations at numerous professional conferences and is frequently invited to lecture before a variety of academic and general audiences. Jackson’s presentations at professional meetings have already placed this research before large groups of extremely influential scholars, generating considerable anticipation for the publication of Paris Under Water. Jackson has spoken at the Society for the Anthropology of North America Conference in New Orleans (April 2007), the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris (October 2007), Society for French Historical Studies Conference (April 2008 and March 2009), and the Western Society for French History (October 2009).


Jackson received his B.S. in history summa cum laude with High Honors from Vanderbilt University in 1993 and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester in 1999. At Rhodes College, he teaches courses in modern European history, cultural history, French history, and interdisciplinary humanities.
For more information about Jackson, visit his website: jeffreyhjackson.blogspot.com and his site on the Paris flood, www.ParisUnderWater.com.