Dr. Jackson Bartlett earned his BA in Urban Studies & Africana Studies at Wayne State University, and both his MA and PhD in African American Studies at Northwestern University.
He started at Ball State in the fall of 2018. Here in the Honors College, he teaches the social science core, along with topics courses on race, class, and gender. Professor Bartlett’s primary research focus is on urban segregation, paying special attention to the black middle class in the post-industrial Midwest.
You can find his work in Issues in Race and Society and he is currently working on a manuscript about the place of the black middle class in Detroit’s twenty-first century renaissance. He co-advises the Honors College Diversity Project, a group of student leaders charged with making the College a more inclusive and just place to learn.
What benefits do you see in teaching from the honors perspective?
I really like teaching in Honors. It is a place where faculty have the room and support to push our students to develop themselves, intellectually. Teaching is only as fun as it is effective, and I appreciate working in a unit where I can work closely with students, explore new things with them, and spend as much time as we need to spend on big questions.
What is the goal of your classes?
I think that one thing that threads my classes together is an effort to help students see themselves and others in a complex society made up not just of other individuals, but organizations, institutions, states, discourses, power relations, and histories.
Are you working on any projects at the moment?
I am working on a couple of article manuscripts on austerity and volunteering in black middle class neighborhoods. I’m also working on a book project that considers the role of taxes and fees in displacing black homeowners from American cities.
What are you currently reading?
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, by Shoshanna Zuboff
Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free, by Linda Kay Klein
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I’m a runner, and you are likely to see me (on warm days) running the urban trails in Muncie.
Who are your biggest role models, dead or alive?
What is a piece of advice you would offer your students?
For each class that you take–whether you’re taking it because you’re interested or because you have to (especially if you’re taking it because you have to)–ask yourself the question, “what am I going to make sure I get out of this one?” Make your required courses work for you. Extract value.