Kellie Carter Jackson earned her undergraduate degree in print journalism from Howard University and spent the next six years at Columbia University where she earned two master’s degrees in history and philosophy, as well as a doctorate in American history. When her husband, Nathaniel, was transferred to Spokane in 2009 for his job, the couple made the coastal swap from the East to the West, and Jackson’s academic job search began in earnest.
Jackson began at Gonzaga as an adjunct professor in 2009, but has since been offered a visiting professorship that allowed her to teach in her areas of specialization: African American history and world civilization. Jackson hopes to teach courses such as Slavery and Emancipation in the Atlantic World, and the Making and History of African-American Social Movements.
She recently presented parts of her dissertation at an international conference on “New Research in the History of Warfare” held at University of Cambridge. She also presented her work at a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, on “Best Practices for Urban Learners.”
Her classes are anything but sit and listen. They are filled with group projects, guest speakers, field trips and opportunities to bring history to life as students role-play activists, entertainers, politicians and black church leaders.
“I think every good citizen of America should have a knowledge and appreciation of history,” she said. “After teaching a class on the music of decolonization, I featured music videos from Bob Marley to Fela Kuti. A student of mine was so inspired she burned a CD of music for me filled with politically conscious songs and told me, ‘This is my favorite class ever.'”