The four-part series Critical Examinations of Community concluded with a public lecture, Practicing Impolite Conversations: Talking About Race, Religion, Politics, and Everything Else, featuring cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker John Jackson, Jr. The series, an initiative of the Frank Aydelotte Foundation for the Advancement of the Liberal Arts, featured panels and events throughout the 2013-14 academic year that focused attention and discussion on the theme of "community" and explored it from a disciplinary perspective, lived experience, and in literature.
Jackson has published widely on race and class in the contemporary U.S. He 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. Prior to Penn, Jackson taught in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and spent three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows. Jackson received his B.A. in communications from Howard University and his Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University.