Lakesia Johnson

Associate Professor

Chief Diversity Officer, Associate Dean

Lakesia D. Johnson is Associate Professor of Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies and English at Grinnell College, where she is currently serving as Assistant Vice-President of Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. Johnson received a bachelor’s from Smith College. She earned her J.D., M.A., and Ph.D. in Women Studies from the Ohio State University. Her areas of teaching and research include Black Women’s Studies, Feminism and Popular Culture, Feminist Legal Theory, and Chicana Feminist Thought. She is author of Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman published by Baylor University Press. Iconic explores how historic representations of Black women in magazines, politics, music, and film reveal an intense fear of the power of Black women. From Angela Davis to Michelle Obama, Johnson documents how these revolutionary activists, writers, and performers have negotiated and counteracted these stereotypical images in pursuit of social justice. Johnson’s current project focuses on the legacy of Black Neo-soul artists, such as Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Meshell Ndegeocello, and the ways that their music and performances have crafted a powerful narrative about Black womanhood that has helped shape the music of young Black women in the 21st century.

Education / degrees

J.D./M.A., Ph.D., Women's Studies, Ohio State University A.B., Smith College

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