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Dr. Jessica James

Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe that college is more than a center of academic training; the university is an environment in which young people discover who they are and how to think for themselves. To this end, my objective is to facilitate the intellectual, social, emotional, and political growth of my students through the study of race, class and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Professional Activities

Area(s) of Research

  • Neighborhood Poverty
  • Slave codes in antebellum Delaware
  • Slave patrols
  • Impact of service learning on student outcomes
  • Impact of diversity courses on student attitudes
  • Black identity & White privilege

Grants and Awards

  • Visiting Professor, Harlaxton College, Grantham England (Fall 2011)
  • Community Partner of the Year (Department of Political & Social Science, SO 301 course) from the Capital School District (2012)

Presentations and Papers

  • James, Jessica. SUNY Potsdam, Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant, Invited Speaker, “Incorporating Undergraduate Research into the Humanities Curriculum,” March 2011
  • James, Jessica. National Association for African American Studies, “Back to Our Roots: Incorporating Service Learning into the African American Studies Curriculum” February, 2011
  • Barnhardt, Jack, Gibson, Jeff, and James, Jessica. National Association for Undergraduate Research: Creativity, Inquiry, and Discovery: Undergraduate Research in and Across the Disciplines. Durham, North Carolina, November 2010. “Developing a Research Symposium at a Teaching College: A Mentor-based Approach”


  • Ph.D., African American Studies, Temple University
  • M.A., African American Studies, Temple University
  • B.A., History & African and Diaspora Studies, Tulane University

Courses Taught

  • SO100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SO301 Contemporary Social Problems
  • SO302 Race and Ethnicity
  • SO350 Popular Culture
  • AA120 Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AA200 The People and Cultures of Africa
  • AA300 African Americans in Film
  • AA301 Africans and the Making of the Atlantic World
  • AA400 Seminar in Africana Studies

Contact Information