Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of History and an affiliate faculty member in African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. She specializes in twentieth-century U.S. histories of gender and sexuality, with a particular focus on the intersecting themes of religion, politics, and culture. Her first book This Is Our Message: Women’s Leadership in the New Christian Right was published by Oxford University Press in 2019. It focuses on the roles that nationally prominent women played in building the modern religious right during its ascendancy in the 1970s and 1980s.
She is currently working on two new projects. The first is the LGBTQ+ Muncie Project, which is focused on preserving the queer history of Muncie through interviews with community members. (If you are interested in participating, or have any suggestions for this project, please contact Dr. Johnson by clicking the email link above).
Her second ongoing project is a book on the history of Satanism and Satanic Panics in the United States from the 1920s and 1980s. This book will analyze the histories of Satanist movements, depictions of Satanism in popular culture, and moral panics surrounding Satanism in order to explore broader themes related to religious freedom, sexual regulation, and the relationship between politics and popular culture.
Dr. Johnson is also a faculty fellow with the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture and a Distinguished Lecturer with the Organization of American Historians. In addition to her academic publications, her work has appeared in a variety of popular forums including the Washington Post.