Jasmine Elizabeth Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Theater Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. A Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow, she earned her Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley. She has served as a Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fellow at Wellesley College (2016) and a Postdoctoral Fellow in African American Studies at Northwestern University (2012). In 2016, Johnson was awarded the Michael L. Walzer '56 Award from Brandeis University for combining "superlative scholarship with inspired teaching."

Johnson's work examines the politics of black movement including dance, diasporic travel, and gentrification. Interdisciplinary in nature, her work is situated at the intersection of diaspora theory, dance and performance studies, ethnography, and black feminism. Her first book manuscript, Rhythm Nation: West African Dance and the Politics of Diaspora, is under contract with Oxford University Press. 

Johnson serves on the board of The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, the Society of Dance History Scholars, and the Editorial Board of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She is also a dancer, and performs internationally.


Research Interests

Afro-diasporic dance, black performance studies, theories of diaspora, black feminisms, ethnography, West African politics and culture, urban renewal and gentrification.



Johnson has written for Aster(ix)Gawker, Colorlines, Dance Research Journal, the Center for Black Studies Research, and Africa and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (Routledge). Her book, Rhythm Nation: West African Dance and the Politics of Diaspora, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.