A Scholarly Conversation with John Jackson Jr. and David Kyuman Kim

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

RelSec welcomed David Kyuman Kim, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Connecticut College, and John Jackson Jr., Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania to the Modern Languages building for a spirited conversation among the two scholars and the gathered audience. The session, titled “Talking and Living Race, Religion, and Social Justice,” was attended by faculty and students from nearly ten different UA departments.

David Kyuman Kim joined the faculty of Connecticut College in 2003. He has also taught at Harvard University and Brown University, most recently in 2009 as inaugural Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the Cogut Center for the Humanities. He has written on freedom and agency in modernity and post-modernity, Asian American diasporas, and the Asian American religious experience. Oxford University Press published his first book, Melancholic Freedom: Agency and the Spirit of Politics.


John Jackson Jr. is Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a professor of Anthropology, Communication, and Africana Studies, and is affiliated with the departments of English, the Institute for Urban Research, and the Graduate School of Education at Penn. He is the author of Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2001). His most recent book, co-written with Cora Daniels, is Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion (Atria/Simon and Schuster, 2014). As a filmmaker, Jackson has produced a feature-length fiction film, documentaries, and film-shorts that have screened at film festivals internationally. His most recent film, co-directed with Deborah A. Thomas, is Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens (Third World Newsreel, 2012), which examines the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its iconic Rastafarian community. Jackson’s work also critically explores how film and other non-traditional or multi-modal formats can be most effectively utilized in specifically scholarly research projects, and he is one of the founding members of CAMRA (www.camrapenn.org) and PIVPE, two University of Pennsylvania-based initiatives organized around creating visual and performative research projects and producing rigorous criteria for assessing them.

Video for the conversation can be found here and the Events page (https://relsec.arizona.edu/events)


RelSec is comprised of five partner sites situated in universities around the world. The participating centers conduct parallel research projects whose exact shape reflects the distinct missions of the centers and research profiles of the teams. All will include some combination of public presentations and events, faculty workshops, and/or curricular initiatives, such as the development of team-taught courses on secularism, religion, and political belonging.
Click on the icons below to link to each partner’s individual websites.