Faculty Profile

Lynn Johnson

Associate Professor of Africana Studies (2004)

Contact Information

johnsoly@dickinson.edu

Althouse Hall Room G10
717.245.1394

Bio

Lynn R. Johnson specializes in African American literature, African Aesthetics, and Africana literary cultures. Her primary research interests are in African American literary production and theory and Middle Passage studies. Currently, she is completing a manuscript that examines the relationship between food and psychological disease and wellness as portrayed in African American fiction.

Education

  • B.A., Salisbury University, 1996
  • M.A., Temple University, 1998
  • Ph.D., 2007

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

AFST 200 Approaches to Africana Studies
This course will investigate the importance of conceptual analysis and the development of concepts in the theoretical and textual research of Africana Studies. Thus, the course will focus on various interpretive frameworks and approaches to organizing and understanding Africana Studies, including but not limited to the African model, Afrocentricity, diaspora model, critical race theory, post-modernism, and post colonialism. Prerequisite: 100.

AFST 220 Afr Americans/Social Media
This class examines African Americans relationships with and representation in computer-mediated communication technologies known as "social media," including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more.This course will explore race and its intersecting identities (gender, class, and sexuality) through the lens of social media. The course will examine both traditional and new media forms, and African Americans¹ relationship to emerging technology and contemporary trends in Black popular culture. We will discuss the grassroots organizing and urban uprisings speared on by hashtag activism and online movements. We will also engage in a thorough discussion of how identity is constructed via avatars and comment sections on various social media sites and platforms.

WGSS 301 Queer Black Feminism
Cross-listed with AFST 320-04.This course explores the origins, major texts, cultural work, and development of Black Feminism from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment. The course will also examine how Black Feminism influences other social movements and scholarship, such as Black Queer Studies, that critically explore global black existence and liberation across sexes and sexualities. Students will learn how scholar-activists including, but not limited to, Audre Lorde, M. Jacqui Alexander, and Sharon P. Holland interrogate the intersections of blackness, gender, class, and sexuality. Furthermore, students will learn how to use a Queer/Black Feminist lens to examine aspects of popular culture such as the social media phenomenon #netflixandchill, black transgender activist Laverne Cox’s role in “Orange is the New Black,” and Rihanna’s performance of black-rage as a response to sexual crimes committed against women and girls in the Caribbean in her video “Man Down.” Re-imagining the classroom as a Queer/Black Feminist consciousness-raising space, the class will be primarily discussion-based. In addition, the course will consist of experiential learning, as students will work together to interview Queer/Black Feminists and produce a podcast.

AFST 320 Queer Black Feminism
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-05.This course explores the origins, major texts, cultural work, and development of Black Feminism from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment. The course will also examine how Black Feminism influences other social movements and scholarship, such as Black Queer Studies, that critically explore global black existence and liberation across sexes and sexualities. Students will learn how scholar-activists including, but not limited to, Audre Lorde, M. Jacqui Alexander, and Sharon P. Holland interrogate the intersections of blackness, gender, class, and sexuality. Furthermore, students will learn how to use a Queer/Black Feminist lens to examine aspects of popular culture such as the social media phenomenon #netflixandchill, black transgender activist Laverne Cox’s role in “Orange is the New Black,” and Rihanna’s performance of black-rage as a response to sexual crimes committed against women and girls in the Caribbean in her video “Man Down.” Re-imagining the classroom as a Queer/Black Feminist consciousness-raising space, the class will be primarily discussion-based. In addition, the course will consist of experiential learning, as students will work together to interview Queer/Black Feminists and produce a podcast.

AFST 320 Representations of Blackness
This course examines the changing meanings of and values given to the concept of “blackness” as expressed in 20th and 21st-century literature, film, photographs, and popular culture materials about and by African-Americans. We will begin by exploring the association of blackness with physical racial difference. Subsequently, we will assess the various ways that African-Americans have come to regard the concept as an essential component of their “artistic strength” and their Diasporic identities. Along with discussions of black as a racial and cultural identity, we will treat the themes of black aesthetics, "blaxploitation," "ghettocentrism", black masculinity/femininity, and black digital subjectivity.

AFST 320 Black Protest Tradition
This course will examine sites of cultural resistance and production. Paying particular attention to ideas of performance in art, linguistic strategy, body rhetoric, and sartorial practices, this interdisciplinary course will explore the history of African American resistance and expressive culture in the United States.