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School of Geography

Dr Jessica Jacobs


Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2777
Room Number: Geography Building, Room 202


My work focuses on heritage and tourism in the Middle East. I am particularly interested in how heritage is visualized, remembered and enacted through the production of tourist space. My research methods and outputs use filmmaking, creative mapping and other community focused strategies that aim to engage a wider audience within the scope of academic research and knowledge production.

I am the founder of AAG Shorts, an annual film festival promoting films by geographers and films about geography. All films are now available online

I am also currently completing a teaching guide Film as a Research Method: A Practice-based Guide (Sage 2019).

Research Projects

A Different Sense of Space: How Bedouins mapped the Sinai  British Academy Leverhulme 2014-2017
While there have been Bedouin tribes living in the Sinai peninsula since the Islamic conquest of Egypt in the 7th century (mostly between 13th and 17th centuries) it is often assumed that because Bedouin culture relies on oral transmission of its history, there are no written documents relating specifically to this long and rich history, other than traveller accounts. This project set out to digitize, translate and film an important an under-researched series of documents housed in St. Katherine’s monastery in order to build up a historical geography of the Bedouin in the South Sinai and explore the impact of Bedouin spatial imaginations on boundary development in the South Sinai.

'Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan’ AHRC 2019-21
Faynan is an impoverished region of southern Jordan that is mostly populated by members of four different Bedouin tribes. It has a remarkable landscape of archaeology that has received more than 40 years of research, principally by UK, US and German research teams. The Department of Antiquities, supported by the AHRC has begun to develop a local museum with the joint aims of developing eco-tourism to generate income into the local community for sustainable development, and build community engagement with the museum for social cohesiveness and well-being. This project will build community engagement with the Faynan Museum and facilities for eco-tourism to support social cohesiveness, individual well-being and sustainable economic development in Faynan. The two year project is structured into six different sub-projects. I am mainly running the sub-project  ‘Local Voices’ with a Jordanian partner Dr Fatima Al-Nammari. I will be working with a team of artists who will be running a series of workshops with members of the tribal communities in Faynan. We will be devising, designing and manufacturing ‘community history/story maps’ using wool felt, and other local materials. These maps will be displayed in the museum alongside video and other material gathered during the research period.