University of Florida Homepage

Jessica Harland-Jacobs

Office: 225 Keene-Flint Hall
Phone: (352) 273-3382
Fax: (352) 392-6927

Mailing address:
Department of History
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117320
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320

Jessica Harland-Jacobs received her BA in history from Cornell University in 1992 and 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 Religious History, Journal of British Studies, Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, The Geographical Review, and Atlantic Studies. Her current book project concerns the question of how empires manage religious diversity by examining the incorporation of Catholic colonies into the British Empire from the early eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. It explores British attitudes and policies towards their “new subjects” as well as the experiences of Catholics as they became subjects of a Protestant empire in a period of global war and imperial expansion. A related project looks at the many Protestant settlement schemes proposed for “peopling” the British Empire during the eighteenth century.

A winner of department, college, and university teaching awards, Professor Harland-Jacobs teaches courses and trains graduate students in modern Britain and the British Empire, Ireland, imperialism, and the Atlantic world. She has directed multiple senior theses and University Scholars and welcomes the opportunity to work with undergraduates on research projects.

Recent Publications
“Multi-confessional Governance: Incorporating Catholics in the British Empire, 1713-1783,” in James Vaughan and Robert Olwell, eds., Envisioning Empire: The New British World from 1763 to 1773 (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019).

“The Fraternal Atlantic” Special Issue, Atlantic Studies 16, 3 (2019).

“Ireland, 1916: The Rising and the War,” The Conversation (14 April 2016).

“Incorporating the King’s New Subjects: Accommodation and Anti-Catholicism in the British Empire, 1713-1815,” Journal of Religious History 39, 2 (June 2015): 203-23.

“Freemasonry and Colonialism” and “Freemasonry and Eastern Religions” (with Jan Snoek) in Henrik Bogdan and Jan A. M. Snoek (eds), Handbook of Freemasonry (Brill, 2014): 439-60 and 258-76.

“Networks for Migrations and Mobility” in Oxford Bibliographies Online (2013).

Selected Keynote Lectures and Public Talks
“Atlantic Georgia,” The Global Georgia Initiative (funded by the Mellon Foundation), University of Georgia (2020)

“’Of Every Country or Denomination’: British Imperial Freemasonry as an Emergent Secularity,” The Secular Enlightenment International Conference, University of California Los Angeles (2018)

“Two Islands, Three Empires, One Brotherhood,” Tercentenary Celebration of the Grand Lodge of England, District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Montego Bay, Jamaica (2018)

“Ireland, 1916: The Rising and the War,” Center for European Studies, University of Florida (2016)

“Freemasonry Across Empires,” Canonbury Masonic Research Centre XIII International Conference, London, England (2011)

“Global Fraternalism: Canadian Freemasons, the British Empire, and the World,” The Charles A. Sankey Lecture in Masonic Studies, Brock University, St. Catherine’s, Canada (2011)

“The British Empire and the Natural World, “Knowing Nature: Naturalist Illustration from Art to Science series, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2011)

“British Imperial Freemasonry and the Military Lodge in the Age of Revolution, 10th Annual California Masonic Symposium: Masonry, Military and the Emergence of American Democracy, San Francisco, CA (2010)

“Worlds of Brothers,” National Heritage Museum Symposium: New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism, Lexington, MA (2010)

Recent Conference Papers and Workshops
“Catholic Emancipation in the Era of Crown Colony Governance,” North American Conference on British Studies Conference, Vancouver, Canada (2019)

“The Incorporation of Catholic New Subjects and the Problem of the Oath after 1763,” The Omohundro Institute Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (2019)

“In between the religious and the secular: ‘Controlled accommodation’ and imperial Freemasonry as emergent secularities of the 19th-century British Empire,” Emergent Spheres of the Secular in Colonial Asia workshop, Humanities Centre, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany (2017)

“Atlantic Brotherhoods: Fraternalism in Transcontinental Perspective,” German Historical Institute Workshop, Washington, DC (2016)

“Catholic Institutions and the Problem of Incorporation in the Eighteenth-century British Empire,” Alternative States Workshop III: Religion and Governance, University of California, Berkeley, CA (2015)