Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southern Studies
I received my BA in history from Grambling State University in 1998, after pursuing issues in African American identity politics. It is there that I began to develop an interest in African Diaspora archaeology, which I continued to study at the Florida State University and the University of Texas at Austin. I also worked for several private and federal cultural resource management institutions, including the National Park Service. My M.A. thesis was a historical and archaeological analysis of one plantation-owning family in Leon County, Florida and my dissertation investigated the application of public archaeology and other methods of historic preservation at the historic St. Paul United Methodist Church community, located in the downtown Dallas Arts District. After completing my dissertation, I accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Carolina, during which I created a framework for and taught the Introduction to Southern Studies course. I joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 2011, where I developed the course Heritage Tourism in the South. In addition to teaching, I enjoy traveling to archaeological sites around the world and attending Southern food festivals.
Ph.D., anthropology, University Texas-Austin
M.A., anthropology, Florida State University
B.A., history, Grambling State University
My specialties include historic archaeology and other forms of cultural resource management, African Diaspora anthropology, museum and heritage studies, and the politics of cultural representations. I more specifically explore the intersections of public archaeology and cultural heritage tourism, specifically as they relate to communities of color in the Southern U.S. I co-edited (with Michele Coffey) the book Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a US Region (2017) and just completed an autoethnography, Behind the Big House: Reconciling Slavery, Race, and Heritage in the U.S. South, to be published in the University of Iowa Press’s Humanities and Public Life book series in March of 2022.
Fall 2021: SST 110 Slavery and the University T/Th 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Peer Reviewed Journal Publications
- Kruse, B., R. Peairs, J. Skipper, and S. Garrett-Scott (Fall 2020) Remembering Ida, Ida Remembering: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Black Political Culture in Reconstruction-Era Mississippi. Southern Cultures, 26(3), 20-41, DOI: 10.1353/scu.2020.0038.
- Skipper, J. and Davidson, S.R. (2018) The Big House as Home: Roots Tourism and Slavery in the U.S. The International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 6(4), 390 – 410.
- Combs, B., Dellinger K.A., Jackson, J. T., Johnson, K. A., Johnson, W., Skipper, J., and Thomas, J.M. (2016). The Symbolic Lynching of James Meredith: A Visual Analysis and Collective Counter Narrative to Racial Domination. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. DOI: 10.1177/2332649215626937
- Skipper, J. (2016) Community Development through Reconciliation Tourism: the Behind the Big House Program in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Community Development. DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2016.1146783.
- Skipper, J. and Wharton, D. (2015) Diasporic Kings and Queens: Lafayette’s Black Mardi Gras Performances in Historical and Hemispheric Contexts. The Southern Quarterly, 52(4), 133-154.
- Skipper, J. (2015) Saving St. Paul: Race, Development and Heritage Politics in Dallas, Texas. The Black Scholar, 45(3), 25-38.
- Combs, B. H. and Skipper, J. (2014) ‘It’s Open Season on Negroes’: Teaching the Past, Present, and Future of the Black Freedom Struggle. The Southern Quarterly, 52(1), 134- 147.
- Skipper, J. (2014) Sustaining Visibility?: The Quandary of St. Paul and Archaeology in the Long Run. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage, 1(3), 210–227.
Book Manuscripts and Chapters
- Skipper, J. (Under Review) Behind the Big House: Slavery and the Culture of Tourism in Mississippi. The University of Iowa Press, Humanities in Public Life Series. Forthcoming Spring 2022.
- Skipper, J. (In Press) Hidden in Plain Sight: Contested Histories and Urban Slavery in Mississippi. In Centering Underrepresented Voices: Public History in the Lowcountry and the American South Leah Worthington, John W. White, and Rachel C. Donaldson, eds., University of South Carolina Press.
- Skipper, J. and J. Barnes (Drafting) Behind the Big House: Interpreting Slavery in Local Communities. In Disrupting the Peace: Transformational Practices and Enduring Concerns in Public Humanism, Molly Todd and Jason Cohen, eds., University of Iowa Press.
- Coffey, M. and Skipper, J., eds. (2017) Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a U.S. Region. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
- Skipper, J., K. Green, and Chapman, R.D. (2017) Public History, Diversity, & Higher Education: Three Case Studies on the African American Past. Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a U.S. Region. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
- Skipper, J. and J. M. Thomas. (Spring 2020). “Plantation Tours.” Contexts: Sociology for the Public, 19(2), 64-67,https://doi.org/10.1177/1536504220920199.’
- Behind the Big House (website). Published September 11, 2018. behindthebighouse.org.