Krug is a historian of politics, ideas, and cultural practices in Africa and the African Diaspora, with a particular interest in West Central Africa and maroon societies in the early modern period and Black transnational cultural studies.
Her book, Fugitive Modernities: Politics and Identity Outside the State in Kisama, Angola, and the Americas, c. 1594-Present, interrogates the political practices and discourses through which those who fled from slavery and the violence of the slave trade in Angola forged coherent political communities outside of, and in opposition to, state politics.
She then follows these practices, discourses, and ideologies across the Atlantic, investigating their use in seventeenth-century maroon (fugitive) communities in Brazil and Colombia. This book ends with a consideration of the relationship between resistance, non-state politics, and colonial and post-colonial politics.
She is deeply interested in intellectual histories of those who never wrote documents and the use of embodied knowledge for both research and teaching.
Admission of pretending to be black
Jessica Krug, an associate professor at George Washington University (GWU), admitted that she was in fact a white Jewish woman from Kansas City.
"I have built my life on a violent anti-Black lie," a blog post written under Ms Krug's name read.
The university said it was investigating the blog post but would not comment further.
Ms Krug's case, which has drawn surprise and condemnation from those who know her, bears strong parallels to Rachel Dolezal, a white race activist who claimed to be black.
Ms Dolezal first made headlines in 2015 when her parents outed her as white.
The former civil rights activist and African studies instructor had kept up the pretense of being African American for years, but said she "identified as black".
Writing in a Medium post published on Thursday, Jessica Krug said she had falsely assumed identities "that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness".
"To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child," she wrote.
She described this behaviour as "the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation, of the myriad ways in which non-Black people continue to use and abuse Black identities and cultures", adding that she had continued the pretence even in her personal relationships.
She blamed her lies on mental health issues and trauma experienced in her early years, although she said this was not an excuse for her actions.
Her academic work, including the 2018 book "Fugitive Modernities: Kisama and the Politics of Freedom", focuses on the politics and culture of African and African diaspora societies.
According to media reports, Ms Krug also used the name Jessica La Bombalera as an activist.
In one video posted earlier this year, she berated white New Yorkers for failing to "yield their time for Black and Brown indigenous New Yorkers".
GWU, where Ms Krug teaches courses in African, Caribbean and diaspora history, says it is "aware" of Ms Krug's Medium post and is "looking into the situation".
Mr Krug's confession has been met with astonishment and anger, with fellow academics, students and friends making their feelings known online and in interviews.