Drawing on the oral history research of black southern women who love women, this lecture engages performance as a method of providing an alternative to traditional historiography. It will also highlight some of the methodological challenges and politics of conducting research across gender, culminating in an actual performance as an instantiation of some of the author’s claims.
E. Patrick Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies, chair of the department of African American Studies, and the founder and director of the Black Arts Initiative at Northwestern University. A scholar, artist, and activist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the area of race, gender, sexuality and performance. He is the author of two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness and Sweet Tea. He is the editor of Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood and No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies. He is co-editor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology and (with Ramon Rivera-Servera) of solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews, and essays and Blacktino Queer Performance. He is currently at work on an oral history of black southern women who love women.