Black Femme Freedom: Histories of Slavery, Gender, and Resistance
Professor Jessica Marie Johnson, Johns Hopkins University
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2022
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Moore Hall B03 and Zoom
This lecture will also be available on Zoom. Please register at https://dartgo.org/blackfemmefreedomlecture.
Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Johns Hopkins University and a fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora. She is the author of Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2020), winner of the 2021 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize of the American Studies Association, the 2021 Wesley-Logan Prize form the American Historical Association, the 2020 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize for Louisiana History, the 2020 Rebel Women Lit Caribbean Readers' Award for Best Non-Fiction Book, an Honorable Mention for the 2021 Pauli Murray Book Award from the African American Intellectual History Society, and a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute.
Johnson is an internationally recognized digital humanist. Johnson is the Director of LifexCode: Digital Humanities Against Enclosure and Senior Research Associate with the Center for the Digital Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. Alongside Drs. Yomaira C. Figueroa and Tao Leigh Goffe, Johnson also co-organizes the Diaspora Solidarities Lab, a Mellon-funded multi-university initiative applying Black feminist methodologies to collaborative scholarship. Johnson's essay, "Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads" is widely recognized as a ground-breaking intervention in the fields of Black studies, digital humanities and data science. Johnson is co-editor with Lauren Tilton and David Mimno of Debates in the Digital Humanities: Computational Humanities. She is guest editor of Slavery in the Machine, a special issue of archipelagos journal (2019) and co-editor with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) of Black Code: A Special Issue of the Black Scholar (2017).
Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, American Quarterly, Social Text, The Journal of African American History, the William & Mary Quarterly, Debates in the Digital Humanities, Forum Journal, Bitch Magazine, Black Perspectives (AAIHS), Somatosphere and Post-Colonial Digital Humanities (DHPoco) and her book chapters have appeared in multiple edited collections.
What are the rubrics of freedom, gender, and resistance that African women and women of African descent navigated in the New World? Exploring the experiences of enslaved and free women along the Gulf Coast, this talk introduces the concept of black femme freedom as a mechanism for encountering the many layers of gendered resistance in the early modern era.