Shannon Jackson (she/her)

Shannon Jackson
Professor, Department Chair
Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact Info
Haag 208B
Urban Studies; Technology; Built Environment; Embodiment


Shannon Jackson is a Professor of Anthropology who Chairs the Sociology and Anthropology Department, and teaches in the Anthropology Program. Recent research is on standardization as a technological frame for making sense of cities. Standards that are of particular interest include GIS mapping, cyber infrastructure, big data, and concrete. These standards and the technologies supporting them are explored in terms of urban development trajectories. Other research is on the ethnographic and archival analysis of embodied connections among urban environments and technological systems. Field sites include South Africa and the U.S. She has been conducting research on material culture and identity in Cape Town, South Africa since 1989. Particular attention is on historical continuities in conflicts over the right to the city. These conflicts include the production of working class housing, access to sanitation, and performative control of streets in post apartheid Cape Town, South Africa. This work culminated in numerous articles and a book titled Embodying Cape Town, Palgrave Macmillan (2017).

She recently received the International Award for Excellence from the Technology, Knowledge, and Society Research Network for her research on the digital divide. Her current book project is titled “The Machine in the City: Technology, Standardization, and Power.”

Dr. Jackson was Research Fellow at the Linda Hall Library for Science and Technology in 2022-23.


ANT 300 Technology and Society
ANT 302 Social Stratification
ANT 308 The Social Life of Things
ANT 328 Body and Society
ANT 331 Urban Anthropology

Academic Credentials

Ph.D. Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Chicago
M.A. Social Science, University of Chicago
M.A. Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Connecticut
B.A. Sociocultural Anthropology, Missouri State University