E. Patrick Johnson
) is an African American performance artist
, and scholar.
His work has made important contributions in the fields of performance studies, critical race theory
, and queer theory
(especially queer of color critique). Johnson is currently Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University
where he is also a member of the core faculty in the Department of African American Studies. Before going to Northwestern, Johnson was an Assistant Professor of English at Amherst College
in Amherst, Massachusetts. As a performance artist, Johnson has toured his one-man show, Strange Fruit
, around the country since 1999.
His first book, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity
was an important study of how "blackness" was "performed" and contested in different social contexts, particularly in relationship to gender
. The book won several awards, including the Lilla A. Heston Award, the Errol Hill Book Award, and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His co-edited book Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology
was an important collection of essays by prominent scholars in African American and Queer Studies, based on a conference Johnson co-organized at the University of Chapel Hill in 1998. His most recent work is an oral history of black gay men in the southern United States
entitled Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South
, published by the University of North Carolina Press