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Indiana University Bloomington
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Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences
One Discipline, Four Fields

Jason Baird Jackson


Joint Professor of Anthropology and Folklore, Anthropology Department
Joint Professor of Anthropology & Folklore,


(812) (812) 856-1868 | Email | Office Hours

Ph.D. Indiana University, 1998

Geographical Areas of Specialization:

Topical Interests: Material culture, cultural performance, ethnology, cultural history, museum work


I am an ethnologist and folklorist whose teaching and research work bridges the fields of folklore studies, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, ethnohistory, and museum studies. I have collaborated with Native American communities in Oklahoma (USA) since 1993, when I began a lifelong personal and research relationship with the Yuchi people. My studies concern, most centrally, the nature of customary arts, practices and beliefs and the role that these play in social life. In addition to the ethnography and ethnology of Eastern North America, I pursue projects exploring emerging issues (often quite contested) in the areas of intellectual property, scholarly communication, cultural property and heritage policy. Lastly, much of my career has been spent working as a curator in museum contexts and I remain deeply engaged with research in, and teaching about, museums, especially museums of art and ethnography. I previously served (2005-2009) as the editor of the journal Museum Anthropology and I founded and now edit the open access journal Museum Anthropology Review. I edit the book series Material Vernaculars, which is published jointly by Indiana University Press and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Among my current projects is a book on the role of community rituals in shaping historical consciousness among the native peoples of Eastern North America. In this project I am seeking to extend the arguments of my books Yuchi Ceremonial Life: Performance, Meaning and Tradition in a Contemporary American Indian Community (University of Nebraska Press, 2003) and Yuchi Folklore (University of Oklahoma Press, 2013). In 2013, I began service as Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. As an outgrowth of my work as the museum’s director, I am involved in ethnographic research on textiles and cultural heritage policies in China’s Guangxi province. Learn more about the museum at: Learn more about my teaching, curatorial and research work online at:

Honors & Awards

Awards and Distinctions

2015: IU Trustees Teaching Award

2010-11: GPSO/IU Graduate School Faculty Mentor Award


Courses Recently Taught


Theories of Material Culture

Advanced Seminar for Undergraduate Majors

Selected Publications

(editor)Material Vernaculars: Objects, Images, and Their Social Worlds.(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016). Also find it here.

"Anthropology and Open Access."(with Ryan Anderson) Cultural Anthropology. 29(2) (2014):236-263.

"Seminole Histories of the Calusa: Dance, Narrative, and Historical Consciousness." Native South. 7(2014):122-142. 

Yuchi Folklore: Cultural Expression in a Southeastern Native American Community.(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013). 

"The Story of Colonialism, or Rethinking the Ox-Hide Purchase in Native North America and Beyond." The Journal of American Folklore. 126 (499) (2013): 31-54.

(editor)  Yuchi Indian Histories Before the Removal Era. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012). 

"Boasian Ethnography and Contemporary Intellectual Property Debates." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 154(1) (2010):40-49. 

Yuchi Ceremonial Life: Performance, Meaning and Tradition in a Contemporary American Indian Community. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003).