Meet The Candidates: Dr. Javon Johnson

Author: Douglas Slayton
February 23, 2022
Flyer for event with Dr. Javon Johnson on February 24th from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The Communication Studies Department is excited to share the second of the three research presentations from our candidates for the Assistant Professor specializing in Communication, Performance, and Race, Dr. Javon Johnson.


Dr. Johnson will be giving a talk on Friday, February 24th from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., entitled "Lost Readings: Black Thoughts on a Kind of Undisciplined Method and Poetics." The passcode for this event is 576683


Talk Description:


Merging black feminist theory, black queer theory, black masculine studies, and performance studies, this paper riffs, muses, and wonders what lost as a method and poetics might yield black subjects in the search for freedom. Building on Fanny Howe’s notion of “bewilderment” and Sarah Jane Cervinacks’ “wandering,” I read through and with Lauren Olamina in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, slam and spoken word poet Natasha Hooper, and Issa Dee of Issa Rae’s Insecure to think about lost not merely as directional absence but as a different type of maneuvering that (seeks to) exist outside of easy and controllable logics. Aimlessly and lost, I wonder what does it mean that we have a constant desire to know and to know everything? What is gained in not only not knowing but accepting the not knowing as a method and poetics? If lost is that which is no longer possessed or retained how might a turn to the lost open up the space for, or gesture towards the possibility of, black subjects being unpossessed and unpossessable?


We are excited to share the opportunity to our current students to learn more of the candidates research. Be on the lookout for future announcements about the final candidates' event soon.