Jackson B Smith

Graduate Student


Jackson B. Smith is a sixth-year PhD candidate. He earned a B.A. in History from Bard College and a master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the Université Paris 8. His research primarily considers the the relationship between time, narrative, and memory in French cinematic, literary, and theoretical creation from the 20th and 21st centuries, notably in the works of Chris Marker and Alain Resnais.

His dissertation, supervised by Thomas Trezise, explores the relationship between ideology and narrative form in representations of the Algerian War of Independence. It looks at how alternative approaches to memory and time outside of traditional historical narrative and in a range of media—literary, cinematic, artistic—open up possibilities for identifying the mechanisms of ideology in the production of knowledge of the past. It comparatively analyzes works from the 1950s to the present through a series of dehierarchized and dechronologized motifs including silence, forgetting, brokenness, and archeology.

His other research interests include time travel, silence, American experimental art, twentieth-century marxisms (esp. Louis Althusser), and the legacy of phenomenology (esp. Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricœur). In addition to teaching at Princeton, Jackson has also taught at the Université Paris-Est Créteil and with the Prison Teaching Initiative. His work as a translator has appeared in venues such as boundary 2 and The Philosophical Salon. He has recent articles in Contemporary French and Francophone Studies (on Chris Marker and Frédéric Boyer), Fixxion (on Kamel Daoud), New Review of Film and Television Studies (on Alain Resnais), and Symposium (on Samuel Beckett and John Cage).