Barbara E. Johnson (1947–2009)
DOI link for Barbara E. Johnson (1947–2009)
Barbara E. Johnson (1947–2009) book
This chapter discusses the life history of Barbara E. Johnson, a feminist thinker, who used gender difference as a starting point for the critical theorization of language and personhood. She taught at Yale and Harvard, in disciplines ranging from French, Comparative Literature, and African-American Studies, to Law, and Psychiatry. Unlike many of her critical contemporaries, Johnson segued effortlessly from the "linguistic turn" of literary theory to social issues of race, sexuality, reproduction, psychology, and human rights. In Johnson's work, social issues are processed through a rhetorical and philosophical engagement with learning, integrating, translating, disseminating, and legislating the boundaries of the other. Johnson explored the desiring dialectics of voice and animation, silence and stillness, in many common places and commonplaces. These loci included childhood development, sexual desire, puppets and prostheses, translation, legal status, gaming, artificial life, doing time, construction work, alphabetization virtually the whole intelligent and intelligible world that she had time to encounter in words.