Jeffrey H. Jackson

Author of Paris under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 Memphis, TN: Historian


Author of Paris under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910
Memphis, TN: Historian


Jeffrey H. Jackson has researched in Parisian archives since 1997, publishing books and articles widely acknowledged for their innovation. In recognition of his outstanding reputation, in 2007 the History News Network named Jackson a “Top Young Historian“ in the U.S.

Jackson received an extremely prestigious international fellowship to spend the fall 2007 semester in residence at the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris. There he deepened the archival research, inspired by hurricane Katrina, which he began on Paris Under Water in 2005.

Jackson has also received national recognition for his previous research, winning highly competitive grants from the National Endowment for the humanities and the American Historical Association. One of his articles won the inaugural prize from the New York State Association of European Historians in 2002.

Jackson is Associate Professor of history and Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Rhodes College, regularly hailed as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. In 2011, Jackson won the prestigious Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research from Rhodes College, the institution’s highest honor for faculty.

Paris Under Water has received extremely favorable reviews and discussions in the New York Times, Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, The Guardian, Financial Times, and elsewhere.

Jackson has become a sought-after expert in the history of Parisian culture and the turn of the twentieth century. Following the release of Paris Under Water, he was invited to speak at University College London, the American University of Paris, the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris, NYU’s Institute for French Studies, Vanderbilt University, UNC-Chapel Hill, the Alliance Francaise gala in New Orleans, and elsewhere. He has also done numerous media interview, including for the BBC.

Jackson received his B.S. in history summa cum laude with High Honors from Vanderbilt University in 1993 and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester in 1999. At Rhodes College, he teaches courses in modern European history, cultural history, French history, and interdisciplinary humanities.

Proposed Topics

“Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910“

At the turn of the twentieth century, Parisians believed they lived in the greatest city in the world. But Paris came to a halt in January 1910 when the river that provided much of the city’s life quickly became an instrument of destruction. Following weeks of torrential rainfall, the Seine overflowed its banks flooding thousands of homes and sending hundreds of thousands of people fleeing for safety and higher ground. This most modern of cities seemed to have lost its battle with the elements.

But in the midst of the disaster, despite decades of political division, scandal, and deep tensions between social classes, Parisians rallied to help one another and rebuild. Leaders and people answered the call to action in the city’s hour of need. This newfound ability to work together proved crucial just four years later when France was plunged into the depths of World War I. What emerged from the waters, and from the war, was the Paris we know today.

The lecture also includes dramatic photography of the 1910 flood presented through Powerpoint.


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Negotiable, to be agreed upon with speaker

Technical Requirements

Powerpoint and computer

Contact person

Jeffrey H. Jackson


Department of History, Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112




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