Director, Division of Social Sciences
Professor Jacobs’ undergraduate and Masters’ training in Human Geography was at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She completed her PhD at University College London. Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, Professor Jacobs taught at University College London from 1989 to 1991, The University of Melbourne from 1992 to 2002, The University of Edinburgh from 2002 to 2010, and the National University Singapore in 2011. She was a founding member of Melbourne’s Institute of Postcolonial Studies, and served a term as its Director. Professor Jacobs has supervised more than 15 PhD students, and has been on the editorial team of various journals, including the Geographical Research, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Scottish Geographical Journal, Cultural Studies Review, Social and Cultural Geographies, Transactions IBG (NS), Gender, Place and Culture, Annals of the Association of American Geographers and Antipode.
Sharing the same name as urban scholar Jane Jacobs, who authored the book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Professor Jacobs has become an expert in professional disambiguation.
Professor Jacobs researches, publishes and teaches in the fields of urban studies, postcolonial studies, and qualitative urban methods. Her early research was on indigenous rights and cultural property, and she played a key role in the first national survey of tourist impact on Australia Aboriginal rock art sites, which was published by the Australian Heritage Commission as Tourists and the National Estate in 1987 and in revised form in 1994 as Tourism and the Protection of Aboriginal Cultural Sites.
The main focus of Professor Jacobs’ current research is urban studies. She has published on the postcolonial politics of cities, including her monograph Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City (1996) and her co-edited book Cities of Difference (1998). Recent work has focused on high-rise housing knowledge and infrastructures (http://www.ace.ed.ac.uk/highrise/), comparative urbanism, and the relationship between architecture and society. As part of her research, Professor Jacobs co-created a “memory box” of Red Road high-rise for the Glasgow Museum. She has published in a range of peer review journals including Urban Studies, Environment and Planning D and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. She is the co-author of the book Buildings Must Die: A Perverse View of Architecture, published by MIT Press in 2014, and the co-editor of Architecture and Geography (Routledge, 2015). Her current research is in property and security in Asian cities and she co-curates a blog on architecture in Singapore (http://architecturesingapore.wordpress.com).
Books and Collections
CAIRNS, S. and JACOBS, J.M. 2014 Buildings Must Die: A Perverse View of Architecture. MIT Press.
GELDER K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1998 Uncanny Australia: Sacredness and identity in a postcolonial nation. University of Melbourne Press, Melbourne.
FINCHER, R. and JACOBS, J.M. (eds) 1998 Cities of Difference. Guilford, New York City: x + 322pp.
JACOBS, J.M. 1996 Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City. Routledge, London and New York.
JACOBS, J. M. and GALE, F. 1994 Tourism and the Protection of Aboriginal Cultural Sites. Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra: xii+146pp.
GALE, F. and JACOBS, J.M. 1987 Tourists and the National Estate: Procedures to Protect Australia’s Heritage, Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra: viii+116 pp.
Websites and Artefacts
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S., STREBEL, I. 2008 High-rise Project Website. http://www.ace.ed.ac.uk/highrise/
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S., STREBEL, I., Lee, H-S 2011 Red Road in a Box. Memory artefact produced for Glasgow Museums.
Refereed Journal Articles
STREBEL, I. and JACOBS, J.M. 2013 Houses of Experiment: High-rise housing and the will to laboratorization, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38 (2), 450-470. Themed issue on Laboratorization and the City edited by Andrew Karvonan and Bas van Huer.
STREBEL, I. and JACOBS, J.M. 2013 People and buildings: Pearl Jephcott and the science of life in high flats, Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge 7, 14-35.
JACOBS, J.M. and LEES, L. 2013 Defensible space on the move: Revisiting the urban geography of Alice Coleman, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37 (5), 1559-1583. Themed issue on Urban Planning Terrains: Relational Histories and Practices of Circulating Knowledge edited by Susan Moore and Andrew Harris.
JACOBS, J.M. 2012, Comparing Comparative Urbanisms, Urban Geography, 33(6), 904-914. Themed Issue on Comparative Urbanism edited by Jennifer Robinson and Colin McFarlane.
JACOBS, J.M. 2012 Property and Propriety: (Re)making the space of indigeneity in Australian cities, Postcolonial Studies 15(2), 143-147. Special Issue: Making Indigenous place in the Australian city.
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S. and STREBEL, I. 2012, Doing Building Work: Methods at the Interface of Geography and Architecture, Journal of Geographical Research 50 (2), 126-140.
JACOBS, J.M. 2012, Urban Geography I: Still thinking cities relationally, Progress in Human Geography, 36, 413-422.
JACOBS, J.M. 2009 Sophisticated Geographies, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 8(1), http://www.acme-journal.org/contents.html.
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S., STREBEL, I. 2008 Windows: Re-viewing Red Road, Scottish Geographical Journal, Centenary Special Issue, 124 (2-3), 165-184.
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S. AND STREBEL, I. 2008 Doing building work: The un-making of Red Road, Docomomo: International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings and Sites and Neighbouroods of the Modern Movement, 39, 48-52.
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S. 2008 The modern touch: Interior design and modernisation in post-independence Singapore, Environment and Planning A, Environment and Planning A, 40 (3), 572 – 595.
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S., STREBEL, I. 2007 ‘A tall story…but, a fact just the same’: The Red Road high-rise as a black box, Urban Studies, 44(3), 609-629.
JACOBS, J.M. 2006 A geography of big things, Cultural Geographies, 13 (1), 1-27.
JACOBS, J.M. and NASH, C. 2003 Too little, too much: cultural feminist geographies, Gender Place and Culture, 10 (3), 265-280.
JACOBS, J.M. 2003 Home Rules. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS, 28 (3), 259-263.
GOODER, H. and JACOBS, J.M. 2000 ‘On the borders of the unsayable’: the apology in postcolonizing Australia. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 2 (2), 230-248.
JACOBS, J. M. 2000 Difference and its other, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS, 25(4), 403-407.
GELDER, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1999 Promiscuous Sacred Sites: Reflections on Secrecy and Scepticism in the Hindmarsh Island Affair, Australian Humanities Review. http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR
ANDERSON, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1999 Geographies of publicity and privacy: Residential activism in Sydney in the 1970s. Environment and Planning A, 1017-1030.
ANDERSON, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1997 From urban Aborigines to Aboriginality in the city: one path through the history of Australian cultural geography, Australian Geographical Studies, 35 (1), 12-22.
JACOBS, J. and JACKSON, P. 1996 Postcolonialism and the politics of race, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 14 (4), 1-4.
HUGGINS, J. HUGGINS, R. and JACOBS, J.M. 1995 Kooramindanjie: Place and the Postcolonial, History Workshop Journal, 39, 165-181.
GELDER, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1995 Uncanny Australia, Ecumene: Culture, Meaning, Environment, 2 (2), 116-138.
GELDER, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1995 Uncanny Australia, UTS Review, 1 (2), 156-175.
GELDER, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1995 Talking out of place: authorising the Aboriginal sacred in Australia’, Cultural Studies, 151-160.
JACOBS J.M. 1995 ‘That dangerous fantasy of authenticity’: commentary on a reconciliation place-making project in Australia, Ecumene: Culture, Meaning, Environment, 2(2), 211-214.
JACOBS, J.M. 1994 Negotiating the heart: “heritage”, redevelopment and identity, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 12, 751-772.
JACOBS, J. M. 1994 Western desires and indigenous knowledges. Meanjin, 53 (2): 305-314.
JACOBS. J.M. 1993 The city unbound: qualitative approaches to the city, Urban Studies, 30 (4/5), 823-846.
JACOBS, J.M. 1989 Politics and the cultural landscape: The case of Aboriginal land rights, Australian Geographical Studies, 26(2), 249-263.
GALE, F. and JACOBS, J.M. 1987 Aboriginal art: Australia’s neglected inheritance, World Archaeology, 19(2), 226-235.
GALE, F. and JACOBS, J.M. 1986 Identifying high-risk visitors at Aboriginal art sites. Rock Art Research, 3(1), 3-12.
Editorials for Refereed Journals
SIDAWAY, J.D, WOON, C.Y. AND JACOBS, J.M. 2014 Planetary Postcolonialism, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 25 (1), 4-21.
JACOBS, J.M. AND MERRIMAN, P. 2011 Practising architectures, Social and Cultural Geographies 12 (3), 211-222. Editorial for theme issue on geography and architecture.
JACOBS, J.M., SMITH, S. J. 2008 Living room: rematerialising home, Environment and Planning A, 40 (3), 515 –519. Editorial for theme issue on materiality and the home.
JACOBS, J.M. 2003 Home Rules. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS, 28 (3) 259-263.
JACOBS, J. M. 2000 Difference and its other, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS, 25 (4): 403-407.
JACOBS, J.M. 1996 Speaking always as geographers, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 14 (4): 379-383. Editorial for special issue on Deleuze, co-produced with Meaghan Morris.
Edited special issues (journals and book sections)
SIDAWAY, J.D, WOON, C.Y. AND JACOBS, J.M. 2014 Special Issue on Advancing Postcolonial Geography, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 25 (1).
JACOBS J.M. and MERRIMAN, P. 2011 Special issue on Practising Architecture, Social and Cultural Geography 12 (3).
JACOBS, J.M., SMITH, S. J. 2008 Special issue on materialities of housing and home, Environment and Planning A, 40 (3) (papers by Susan Smith, Jane Jacobs, Robyn Dowling, Alison Blunt).
JACOBS, J.M. (section editor) 2002 After Empire, in The Handbook of Cultural Geography, Kay Anderson, Mona Domosh, Steve Pile and Nigel Thrift (eds). Sage: London. (papers by Dan Clayton, Anthony King and Brenda Yeoh).
JACOBS, J.M. and MORRIS, M. (eds) 1996 Special issue of journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 14 (4), 123pp. (papers by Marcus Doel, Sandra Buckley, Brian Massumi, Meaghan Morris).
Chapters in Books
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S. AND STREBEL. I. 2012 Materialising vision, in G. Rose and D. Toiya-Kelly (eds) Visuality/MaterialityI Images, Objects and Practices. Athlone. 133-152.
JACOBS, J.M., CAIRNS, S. AND STREBEL. I. 2011, Materialising vision: Performing a high-rise view, in S. Daniels, D. DeLyser, J. Ketchum and D. Richardson, Envisioning Landscapes, Making Worlds: Geography and the Humanities, Routledge: 256-268.
JACOBS, J.M. 2011 An Australian Jane Jacobs, in M. Page and T. Mennel (eds), Reconsidering Jane Jacobs, APA Press: 37-42.
JACOBS J.M. and CAIRNS, S. 2011 Ecologies of Dwelling: Maintaining High-rise Housing in Singapore, in The New Companion to the City, S. Watson and G. Bridge (eds). Blackwell: 79-95.
JACOBS, J.M. 2008 Re-qualifying the city, in Maginn, P.J., Thompson, S.M. and Tonts, M. (eds) Qualitative Urban Analysis: An International Perspective. Studies in Qualitative Methodologies 9, Elsevier: 241–249.
JACOBS, J.M. 2004 The global domestic, in The End of Tradition? N. Alsayyad (ed.). Routledge: 29–44.
JACOBS, J.M. 2004 Too many houses for a home: Narrating the house in the Chinese diaspora, in Drift: Architecture and Migrancy, S. Cairns (ed.), Routledge: 164-183.
JACOBS, J.M. 2004 Postcolonial Geography, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences , Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes (eds), Elsevier Ltd.: 11838-11841.
GOODER, H. and JACOBS, J.M. 2004 Belonging and non-belonging: The apology in a reconciling nation, Postcolonial Geographies, A. Blunt and C. McEwan (eds), Continuum: 200-213.
JACOBS, J.M. 2002 After Empire, in The Handbook of Cultural Geography, K. Anderson, M. Domosh, S. Pile and N. Thrift (eds). Sage: 345-353.
JACOBS, J.M. and FINCHER, R. and ANDERSON, K. 2002 Rescripting Cities with Difference, in Understanding the City, C. Mele and J. Eade (eds). Blackwell: 27-48.
JACOBS, J.M. 2001 Hybrid Highrises, in Debating the City, J. Barrett and C. Butler-Bowden (eds) Historical Houses Trust of NSW: 13-28.
DOVEY, K., LOCHERT, M. and JACOBS, J.M. 2000 Aboriginality and architecture, in White Papers/Black Mark: Architecture, Race and Culture, L. Lokko (ed.). The Athlone Press: 25-37.
JACOBS. J.M. 2000 Conclusion from Edge of Empire, in The City Cultures Reader, eds, M. Miles, T. Hall and I. Borden, Routledge: 69-73. Reprint.
JACOBS, J.M. 2000 Noir, in Cities AtoZ, eds, S. Pile and N. Thrift, Routledge: 186-189.
JACOBS, J.M. 2000 Sacredness, in Cities AtoZ, eds, S. Pile and N. Thrift, Routledge: 238-241.
JACOBS, J.M. 2000 Trails, in Cities AtoZ, eds, S. Pile and N. Thrift, Routledge: 265-267.
HUGGINS, J. and JACOBS, J.M. 2000 Kooramindanjie Place, in Placebound: Australian Feminist Geographies, ed. L. Johnson, Oxford University Press: 167-181.
JACOBS, J.M. 1999 The Labour of Cultural Geography, in Australian Cultural Geographies, ed. E. Stratford, Oxford University Press: 11-24.
GELDER, K. and JACOBS, J.M. 1999 The postcolonial ghost story, in Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History, eds A. Stott, and P. Buse, Macmillan: 179-199.
JACOBS, J.M. and FINCHER. R. 1998 Introduction, in Cities of Difference, eds R. Fincher and J.M. Jacobs, Guilford: 1-26.
JACOBS, J.M. 1998 Staging difference: Aestheticization and the Politics of Difference in Contemporary Cities, in Cities of Difference, eds R. Fincher and J.M. Jacobs, Guilford: 252-279.
JACOBS, J.M. 1997 Resisting reconciliation, in Geographies of Resistance, eds S. Pile, M. Keith. Routledge: 67-89.
JAMIESON, N. and JACOBS, J.M. 1996 The making of marginalisation: highrise living and social polarisation, in Restructuring Difference: Social Polarisation and the City, eds K. Gibson et al., AHURI: 75-92.
JACOBS, J.M. 1994 Earth Honouring: western desires and indigenous knowledges, in Writing Women and Space: Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies, eds . G. Rose and A. Blunt,, Guilford Publications, New York: 195 -231.
JACOBS, J.M. 1994 The battle of Bank Junction: The contested iconography of capital, in Money, Power and Space, eds S. Corbridge, R. Martin, and N. Thrift, Basil Blackwell, London: 356-382.
JACOBS, J.M. 1993 ‘Shake ‘im this country’: the mapping of the Aboriginal sacred in Australia, in Constructions of Race, Place and Nation, eds P. Jackson and J. Penrose, UCL Press: London. 100-118.
JACOBS, J.M. 1992 Cultures of the past and urban transformation: the Spitalfields Market redevelopment in East London, in Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography, eds K. Anderson, and F. Gale, Longman Cheshire, Melbourne: 194-214.
JACOBS, J.M. 1989 “Women talking up big”: Aboriginal women as cultural custodians, in Women, Rites and Sites: Aboriginal Women’s Cultural Knowledge, ed. P. Brock, Allen and Unwin, Sydney: 76-98.
JACOBS, J.M., LAURENCE, C.O. and THOMAS, F. 1988 “Pearls from the deep”: re-evaluating the early history of Colebrook Home for Aboriginal children, in Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions: Ethnographic and Historical Studies, eds T. Swain and D. Bird Rose, The Australian Association for the Study of Religions: Bedford Park, SA: 140-155.
JACOBS, J.M. 1988 The construction of identity, in Past and Present: The Construction of Aboriginality, ed. J. Beckett, Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies, Canberra: 31-44.
GALE, F. and JACOBS, J.M. 1986 Aboriginal rock art: “threatened species” of the visual arts in Australia, in Diversity Itself: Essays in Australian Arts and Culture, ed. P. Quartermaine, University of Exeter for AmCAS: Devon, Exeter: 163-172.
Anthologised and reprinted articles / extracts, including works in translation
JACOBS, J.M. HUGGINS, J. and HUGGINS, R. (2008) Kooramindanjie: place and the postcolonial, in Culture and Society: Critical Essays in Human Geography, eds. Nuala C Johnson. Series Ed. John Agnew. Ashgate Publishing.
JACOBS, J.M. (2008) Earth Honouring: Western Desires and Indigenous Knowledges, in Environment: Critical Essays in Human Geography eds. K. Anderson and B.P. Braun. Series Ed. John Agnew. Ashgate Publishing.
JACOBS, J.M. 2002 From Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City’, in The Blackwell City Reader, eds G. Bridge and S. Watson, Blackwell Publishing. 542-548.
JACOBS, J.M. 2002 (Post)Colonial Spaces, in The Spaces of Postmodernity: Readings in Human Geography, eds Michael J. Dear and Steven Flusty, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford. Reprint on request, extract from Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism in the City. 192-200.
JACOBS, J.M. 2002 Earth honouring: western desires and indigenous knowledges, in Anthology of Feminist Geography, Hiroo Kamiya (ed.) Kokon Shoin, Tokyo. Japanese translation, reprinted on request. 184-216.
JACOBS, J.M. 2001 Espaces (Post)coloniaux, in Géographies Anglo-saxonnes. Tendances Contemporaines. Belin, Paris. French translation, reprinted on request, extract from Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City. 73-93.
JACOBS, J.M. 2000 Conclusion, from Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City in The City Cultures Reader, eds M. Miles, T. Hall, and I. Borden, Routledge. 69-73.
JACOBS, J.M. 1999 Negotiating the heart: place and identity in the post-imperial city, in City Worlds, eds D. Massey, J. Allen and S. Pile, Routledge with The Open University. Reprint on request, extract from original article for text in Understandings Cities course of The Open University: 137-156.
HUGGINS, J. HUGGINS, R. and JACOBS, J.M. 1997 Kooramindanjie: Place and the Postcolonial, in Memories and Dreams, eds R. White, and P. Russell, Allen and Unwin: St Leonards, NSW. pp 229-245. Reprinted, on request, from History Workshop Journal, 39.pp 165-181. Additional reflective piece written to introduce the reprinted version: 227-228.
Comparative Social Inquiry – Year One Common Curriculum
Modern Social Thought – Year Two Common Curriculum
Introduction to Urban Studies