Johnson's scholarship focuses on the media representations of African Americans
in news and entertainment, especially sports and music, as well as on women and African
Americans who work in media industries. She also specializes in hip-hop culture and rap
music. Her most recent scholarly work focuses on transgressive representations of black
men and women in low-brow and middle-brow culture. She teaches courses on television, the
press and other mass media as social and cultural institutions. 

Johnson is a regular guest on the program “Mental Engineering,” which airs on public
television stations around the country. 

EDUCATION: B.A., Ohio State University M.A., University of Kentucky Ph.D., University of

Johnson has been teaching at Macalester since 1998 

Journal Articles


Bodytalk | Obama’s Body and the Liberal Body Politic, International Journal of Communication (2010)

Contributions to Books


The Spirit is Willing and So Is the Flesh: The Queen in Hip Hop Culture, Noise and Spirit: The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music (2003)


"Hertz, Don't It?": Becoming Colorless and Staying Black In the Crossover of O.J. Simpson, Reading Sport: Critical Essays on Power and Representation (2000)