Assistant Professor
History, Modern Europe, Public Health, Decolonization

Old Main 300, 651-696-6665

Jessica Pearson joined the Macalester faculty in 2016 and is an Assistant Professor of European History, with a focus on Europe in the world. A Minnesota native, Professor Pearson received her BA in History and French at Kalamazoo College and she received her PhD in History and French Studies from New York University in 2013. At Macalester she teaches courses on women and gender, race and immigration, empire and decolonization, public health, internationalism, and contemporary Europe in global perspective. 

As a researcher, Professor Pearson explores the history of European decolonization from a global vantage point. In her first book, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (Harvard University Press, 2018), Professor Pearson uses global public health as a lens to explore the clash between internationalism and imperialism in French Africa in the 1940s and 1950s. Currently, Professor Pearson is working on a new book project, entitled “Traveling to the End of Empire: Leisure Tourism in the Era of Decolonization,” which will be a global exploration of tourism and European decolonization in the second half of the twentieth century. She has conducted archival research in Aix-en-Provence, Dakar, London, Nantes, New York, Paris, and Washington D.C. 

Prior to joining the history department at Macalester, Professor Pearson was an Assistant Professor of European Studies at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, and from 2013-2014 she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Tulane University in New Orleans.