I received my BA in history from Grambling State University in 1998. It is there that I began to develop an interest in African diaspora archaeology, which I studied at Florida State University and the University of Texas at Austin. Through those institutions, I received a MA and PhD in Anthropology, with a focus on historical archaeology. My MA 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 in the Arts District of Dallas, Texas. As a graduate student, I worked for several private and federal cultural resource management institutions, including the National Park Service. After completing my dissertation, I accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Carolina Institute for Southern Studies. I joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 2011. In addition to teaching, I enjoy traveling to historic sites and attending food festivals.
I am an applied anthropologist, who explores the representation of African American lives through material culture. My theoretical approach draws on contextual emphases in public history, public archaeology, and cultural representations in museum studies. I established a foundation for intersecting these fields through my dissertation work on the St. Paul United Methodist Church, an historically African American church in the Dallas, Texas arts district. I examined the church community’s prospects of preserving its historic building and historical legacy through two heritage projects; one in which archaeologists excavated a shotgun house site on the church property and a public history project in which I created an interpretive history exhibition on the church. During my time at the University of Mississippi, I extended my focus by investigating how African American historic sites interact with the production of heritage in tourism spaces through two new projects, the Behind the Big House program in Marshall County, Mississippi and the Promiseland Historic Preservation project in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana.
My research interests include African diaspora anthropology, historic sites management, historical archaeology, museum and heritage studies, and southern studies. I more specifically explore how African American pasts are represented in the present.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
2016. Barbara H. Combs, Kirsten Dellinger, Jeffrey T. Jackson, Kirk A. Johnson, Willa M. Johnson, Jodi Skipper, John Sonnett, James M. Thomas, and Critical Race Studies Group. “The Symbolic Lynching of James Meredith: A Visual Analysis and Collective Counter Narrative to Racial Domination.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2 (3): 338-353. doi:10.1177/2332649215626937
2016. “Community Development through Reconciliation Tourism: The Behind the Big House Program in Holly Springs, Mississippi.” Community Development 47 (4): 514-529. doi:10.1080/15575330.2016.1146783
2015. Jodi Skipper and David Wharton. “Diasporic Kings and Queens: Lafayette’s Black Mardi Gras Performances in Historical and Hemispheric Contexts.” The Southern Quarterly 52 (4) 2015: 133-154.
2015. “Saving St. Paul: Race, Development and Heritage Politics in Dallas, Texas.” The Black Scholar 45(3): 25-38. doi:10.1080/00064246.2015.1049327
2014. Barbara H. Combs and Jodi Skipper. “‘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. “Sustaining Visibility: The Quandary of St. Paul and Archaeology in the Long Run.” Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage 1(3): 210–227. doi:10.1179/2051819614Z.00000000019
Chapters in Edited Volumes
2017. Jodi Skipper, K. Green, and Rico D. Chapman. “Public History, Diversity, & Higher Education: Three Case Studies on the African American Past.” In Michele Grigsby Coffey & Jodi Skipper (eds.), Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a U.S. Region. University of Georgia Press.