Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Johns Hopkins University and a Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is also the Director of LifexCode: Digital Humanities Against Enclosure.
Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora. She is the author of Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2020). Wicked Flesh is the recipient of the 2021 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History from the Louisiana Historical Association and the Historic New Orleans Collection, the 2021 Rebel Women's Lit Caribbean Readers Award in Non-Fiction, a 2021 Honorable Mention for the Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society/Société d’histoire coloniale française, a 2021 Honorable Mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians, and a 2021 Honorable Mention for the Pauli Murray Prize from the African American Intellectual History Society.
She is co-editor with Lauren Tilton and David Mimno of Debates in the Digital Humanities: Computational Humanities (under peer review). She is guest editor of Slavery in the Machine, a special issue of archipelagos journal (formerly sx:archipelagos) (2019) and co-editor with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) of Black Code: A Special Issue of the Black Scholar (2017).
Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, American Quarterly, Social Text, The Journal of African American History, the William & Mary Quarterly, Debates in the Digital Humanities (2nd edition), Forum Journal, Bitch Magazine, Black Perspectives (AAIHS), Somatosphere and Post-Colonial Digital Humanities (DHPoco) and her book chapters have appeared in multiple edited collections.
She is the Founding Curator of #ADPhDProjects which brings social justice and histories of slavery together. She is also a Digital Alchemist at the Center for Solutions to Online Violence and a co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group with Dr. Vanessa Holden (University of Kentucky). Her past collaborations include organizing with the LatiNegrxs Project.
At Johns Hopkins University, Johnson is a co-convener of the Black World Seminar with Drs. Nathan Connolly, Larry Jackson, and Martha Jones as well as convener of the Sex and Slavery Lab (2018-2019). She is affiliate faculty in the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.
As a historian and Black Studies scholar, Johnson researches black diasporic freedom struggles from slavery to emancipation. As a digital humanist, Johnson explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent.
She is the recipient of research fellowships and awards from the Mellon-African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHum) at the University of Maryland, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Richards Civil War Era Center and Africana Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University.
Johnson tweets as @jmjafrx.
(c.v. available by request)