Dr Donna Jackson

Senior Lecturer in Modern History

Qualifications

BA (UEA), MA (UEA), PhD (Cantab)

Overview

I took a BA in American History and Politics at the University of East Anglia (1993-1997), and achieved a Masters with Distinction the following year.  I successfully completed my PhD on the Carter Administration and the Horn of Africa in July 2002, supervised by Dr John Thompson, and subsequently held the position of Research Fellow (non-stipendiary) at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

I have been employed as a temporary lecturer at the University of Cambridge, the University of East Anglia, Keele University, the University of Essex, the University of Nottingham, and Queen Mary, University of London, teaching a range of modules on American history and politics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In September 2007, I joined the Department of History and Archaeology at Chester as a Lecturer in Modern History, with particular specialism in American History, reflecting my belief in research-led teaching.

Teaching

I contribute to the teaching of the following undergraduate modules:

  • Discovery, Development and Domination: The United States 1492-2001
  • The Past in the Present: An Introduction to Heritage
  • Europe and the Wider Word: Turning Points in History 1000-2000
  • The Mystery of History
  • Debates in History
  • A More Perfect Union: The Constitution and Modern America
  • Seeking the Promised Land: Black America, 1865-1977
  • Historical Research: Methods and Practice
  • Cold War America
  • Historical Sources: Cold War America
  • Dissertation supervision

In addition I contribute to the following postgraduate modules:

  • The Theory and History of Western Warfare
  • Research Skills and Methodology in History
  • The Vietnam War
  • Dissertation supervision

Postgraduate supervision

I invite enquiries concerning both MPhil and PhD research in the Department of History & Archaeology. I am particularly interested in students wishing to study all aspects of American-Soviet relations during the Cold War, American policy towards the developing world, and within my other research interests listed below.

Research

My research centres on American-Soviet relations during the Cold War and, in particular, the period of détente. I am also interested in the interaction between the American political system and foreign policy formulation, including the role of Congress and the impact of domestic politics and public opinion. Within these larger themes, I am especially fascinated by American foreign policy towards Africa.

I believe that this is an interesting and often overlooked region and further research will provide a significant contribution to the understanding of American political and diplomatic history. For example, my work on the Horn of Africa illustrated the difficulties and dilemmas faced by Jimmy Carter as he attempted to formulate foreign policy within the constraints of the Vietnam syndrome.

The region's proximity to the Middle East added to its geopolitical importance; human rights abuses were evident but Cold War concerns remained important and both themes were complicated by violations of international law and questions of post-colonialism and self-determination.  These issues are all being examined in my main research project which will result in a book on the Horn of Africa as a Cold War battleground.  In addition, I have two articles forthcoming: an examination of the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia during the Eisenhower Administration; and an analysis of the impact of the 1964 Presidential Election on the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

In addition, and in conjunction with my colleague, Dr James Pardoe, Senior Lecturer in Heritage, I am developing a research project that examines the history, legacy and heritage of the Beatles as presented at tourist destinations in Liverpool, considering questions of aura, authenticity, and the relationship between business, history and heritage.

Published work

Books

Jimmy Carter, the Cold War and the Horn of Africa (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc, 2007)

Book Chapters

“The Oratory of Jimmy Carter” (co-authored with Robert Lehrman) in Crines, Moon and Lehrman (eds) Democratic Orators from JFK to Barack Obama (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

Journal Articles

'The Carter Administration and Somalia' Diplomatic History (September, 2007)

'The Ogaden War and the Demise of Détente' The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (November 2010)

Other

Major contributor to Spencer Tucker (ed), The Encyclopaedia of the Cold War (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, 2008)

"Ogaden" in John Stone et al. (eds) The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism (2016)