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E. Patrick Johnson

Dean, School of Communication; Annenberg University Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies

Ph.D., Louisiana State University
M.A., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
B.A., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Research Interests:

Black Gender and Sexuality Studies
Performance studies
Oral Histories


E. Patrick Johnson has published widely in the areas of race, class, gender, sexuality, and performance. He is the founder and director of the Black Arts Initiative at Northwestern. He is also a Project& artist, a nonprofit arts organization engaged in art for social change and impact. Johnson is a prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies.

He is the author of two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness:  Performance and the Politics of Authenticity, and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History. He is the editor of Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood (Michigan UP, 2013) and co-editor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology and (with Ramon Rivera-Servera) of solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews, and essays and Blacktino Queer Performance (Duke UP, forthcoming). He is currently at work on the companion text to Sweet Tea, entitled, Honeypot: Southern Black Women Who Love Women and an edited collection of new writings in black queer studies tentatively titled, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies.



Ph.D., Speech Communication, Louisiana State University
M.A., Speech Communication, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
B.A., Speech Communication, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Recent Awards and Honors:

Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education 2015 

Rene Castillo Otto Award for Political Theater 2014

Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Solo Performance--2010

Leslie Irene Coger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Performance--2010

Randy Majors Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to LGBT Scholarship in Communication--2010

Inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame—2010

Recent Publications:

“Baldwin’s Theater.” Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin. Ed. Michelle Elam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 85 – 99.

“Southern (Dis)Comfort: Homosexuality in the Black South.” Creating and Consuming the U.S. South.  Eds. William A. Fink, David Brown, Brian Ward, and Martyn Bone. University Press of Florida, 2015. 97 – 116.

Johnson, E. Patrick and Ramon Rivera-Servera- co-editors (2014), solo/black/woman: scripts, essays, and interviews. Northwestern University Press.

“To Be Young, Gifted, and Queer: Race and Sex in the New Black Studies.” The Black Scholar 44.2 (Summer 2014): 50 – 58.

Johnson, E. Patrick, editor (2013, Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood. University of Michigan Press.

Johnson, E. Patrick (2008). Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South--An Oral History. University of North Carolina Press.

Johnson, E. Patrick and Mae Henderson, co-editors (2005). Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. Duke University Press.

Johnson, E. Patrick (October, 2003). Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity. Duke University Press.

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