Faculty Profile

Lynn Johnson

Associate Professor of Africana Studies (2004), Department Chair

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

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

AFST 220 African American Foodways
This course examines the multifarious ways in which food has influenced the expressions of African American identity and culture. We will begin with a discussion of food as a cultural connector that preserves the ties between African Americans and their African antecedents. Subsequently, we will consider specific African American culinary practices and the origins of soul food. Additionally, we will analyze the roles of food in African American social activism. In so doing, we will pay particular attention to the relationships that exist among food consumption, human rights, and African American communal health, as represented by the anti-soul food and black vegetarianism/veganism movements.

WGST 300 Africana Women's Lives
Cross-listed with AFST 320-01.In Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn posits, “An important reason for the study of women of African descent throughout the world is the common nature of their struggles, the similar ways they deal with the problems and joys in their lives.” This course will therefore examine the common and diverse life experiences of Africana women. We will discuss such issues as self-definition, womanhood, sexuality, activism, class, and community. Also, we will consider the theories of Black and African feminisms, as well as Africana womanism.

AFST 320 (Dis)Figuring the Black Body
This course will examine the disparate socio-political values and meanings assigned to the black body, historically and contemporarily. Throughout the term, students will engage with a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives and source materials that specifically engage with discourses of black bodily difference (gender, age, able-bodiedness, and weight), usefulness (labor, medical experimentation, and athleticism), and beauty (hair and fashion). Ultimately, we will come to understand the ways in which black bodies have served not only as sites of cultural memory and trauma, but also as signifiers of black cultural pride and resiliency.

AFST 320 Africana Women's Lives
Cross-listed with WGST 300-03.In Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn posits, “An important reason for the study of women of African descent throughout the world is the common nature of their struggles, the similar ways they deal with the problems and joys in their lives.” This course will therefore examine the common and diverse life experiences of Africana women. We will discuss such issues as self-definition, womanhood, sexuality, activism, class, and community. Also, we will consider the theories of Black and African feminisms, as well as Africana womanism.