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Jessica Harland-Jacobs is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fl. After an international upbringing, she attended Cornell University, where she received her BA in history in 1992. She received her MA and PhD (2000) from Duke University, where she studied British, imperial, and Canadian history and historical geography. Her first book, Builders of Empire: Freemasonry and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2007. She has published articles in The Journal of British Studies, The Geographical Review, and Atlantic Studies, and a new article will appear in the forthcoming volume of the Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism.
While she continues to devote much of her time to researching, writing, and speaking about the history of Freemasonry, she is also at work on two other projects. The first is a study of the Catholic question in the British Empire, focusing on the period after the Seven Years War when several colonies withsignificant numbers of Catholics were ceded to Britain by France and Spain. She is examining attitudes and policies toward Catholics both in the empire and the British Isles. The second project looks at for-profit "peopling" schemes, including efforts to bring Irish Protestants to Nova Scotia, Minorcans and Italians to British East Florida, and Scottish Highlanders to Manitoba during Britain first "age of global empire," between the 1760s and 1820s.
Professor Harland-Jacobs teaches courses on modern Britain and the British Empire, Ireland, imperialism, and the Atlantic world. She has won department, college, and university teaching awards and has served in several administrative positions including, currently, as Associate Chair of the Department of History.