Jasmine Johnson

Postdoctoral Fellow, African American Studies
Northwestern University

Jasmine Johnson's work examines the politics of black movement. Her dissertation project, Dancing Africa, Making Diaspora, is an ethnography on the growing industry of West African Dance in the United States. It considers the African dance class as a meaning making space: what began as a reconstitution of American blackness vis-a-vis a proximity to West African dance, has since grown into a flourishing economy that is today unmistakably characterized by its vast number of non-black participants. Johnson's project examines the ways in which race, class, gender, and nationality are negotiated in order to reveal the operations through which this dance economy both widens the circle of African diasporic we and continues to police its ever-shifting boundaries of belonging.

Currently, Dr. Johnson is transforming her dissertation into a book manuscript, paying special attention to African dance tourisms including "homecoming" trips to West Africa, and African dance cruises. Thinking through a different iteration of movement, Johnson also writes about urban renewal and gentrification.

Research: 

Black Dance and Performance Studies
Theories of Diaspora
Race, class, gender
Ethnography
West African politics and culture
Urban renewal and gentrification

jasmine.johnson@northwestern.edu