Jesse studies 20th-century art and architecture, with special interests in visual rhetoric, theories of urbanism and the historiography of material culture. Her dissertation, A City Is Not A Picture, examines the work of the French-Hungarian architect Yona Friedman. It theorizes the changing status of the architectural image and the ethical crises of professional design in the wake of the Second World War. Her research considers a broad range of fields, sites and mediums -- from urban planning in the postwar Middle East, to animation and comics in 1960s’ France, to the early development of computer graphics in the United States. Jesse also works on the historiography of art history, researching the development of formalism and the roles of photography and architectural theory in the formation of the discipline. She has published an article on the visual rhetoric of Alois Riegl in History of Photography (2016), criticism in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2017) and has contributed to Empires of Faith, the British Museum/Oxford University global research project on the historiographies of image and religion in late antiquity (co-authored chapter accepted by Cambridge University Press). Her work on Friedman has been supported by a Carter Manny Award for Research, a CLIR Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities in Original Sources, and a Schiff Foundation Critical Architectural Writing Fellowship.