Javon Johnson

Director, African American & African Diaspora Studies
Assistant Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies
Expertise: African American Literature, Black Pop Culture, Poetry, Black Queer Theory, Black Feminist Theory

Biography

Javon Johnson’s research focuses on performance, blackness, African American literature, black pop culture, black feminist theory, black queer theory, masculinity studies, black sexualities, and ethnography.

Johnson -- a renowned spoken word poet -- is a three-time national poetry slam champion and a four-time national finalist. He has appeared on HBO’s "Def Poetry Jam," BET’s "Lyric Café," TV One's "Verses & Flow," "The Steve Harvey Show," "The Arsenio Hall Show," "United Shades of America with Kamau Bell" on CNN. He also co-wrote a documentary titled "Crossover," which aired on Showtime in collaboration with the NBA and Nike.

Johnson has also been published in numerous academic publications and national outlets such as Text & Performance Quarterly, Liminalities, QED: A Journal of Queer Worldmaking, The Root, and Huffington Post.

 

Education

  • Ph.D., Performance Studies, Northwestern University
  • M.A., Communication Studies, California State University
  • B.A., Communication Studies, California State University

Javon Johnson In The News

Larchmont Buzz
October 20, 2020
A pandemic is arguably not the optimal time to make theater, considering theaters are closed and actors can’t come within six feet of each other. Yet there’s some exciting work being done within pandemic parameters. This weekend I took in three remarkable performances developed during these locked-down days, as well as one recorded just prior to it (the riveting What the Constitution Means to Me, now on Amazon Prime)…plus three exhilarating Dodgers games. (Go, Dodgers!)
Broadway World
October 13, 2020
As one of the nation's most prominent spoken-word artists, and a three-time national poetry slam champion and a four-time national finalist, Javon Johnson now takes to The Pasadena Playhouse stage in STILL. to share his very personal experience growing up as a Black man in America at a pivotal time in our history. Recounted at breakneck speed, thankfully with captions, Johnson blends powerful imagery, witty prose and beautiful lyricism in this timely, unforgettable theatrical event which will fill your senses with wonder, knowledge, and the type of confusion that comes from the bombardment of too much information hitting your senses too quickly.
Los Angeles Times
October 5, 2020
The historic Pasadena Playhouse is empty. No ticket holders gossiping and rubbing elbows in the Spanish revival-style courtyard. No line at the bar.
Yahoo!
October 5, 2020
The historic Pasadena Playhouse is empty. No ticket holders gossiping and rubbing elbows in the Spanish revival-style courtyard. No line at the bar.

Articles Featuring Javon Johnson

A portrait of UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus NewsAugust 10, 2020
As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.
Protest signs read "Defund Police" and "Abolish Police"
ResearchJune 10, 2020
As more municipalities weigh the future of their police departments, UNLV professors explain what these movements mean and how they would work.
lizard surrounded by cameras
Campus NewsSeptember 3, 2018
A round up of news briefs from the fall 2018 issue of UNLV Magazine.
Portrait Javon Johnson
PeopleMay 29, 2018
Like a poetry verse, the artist-turned-academic said he’s most daring when he lets life flow.