Contact & Location


Department of English

Physical Address:
Brink Hall 200
(208) 885-6156 phone
(208) 885-5944 fax

Mailing Address:
English Department
c/o University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1102
Moscow, Idaho

Janis Johnson

Jan Johnson

Office: Brink Hall 224
Email: janjohn@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: English Department - University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Dr. MS 1102
Moscow, Id 83844-1102

College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
Department of English
Clinical Assistant Professor
Coordinator, American Indian Studies Program

Home Town: Lewiston, Idaho
With UI Since 2002

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Decolonization in contemporary Native American literature and communities
    • Native Americans in popular music
    • Native American film
    • Historical trauma and healing in Native literatures and communities
    • Environmental justice
    • Ethnic American literature and expressive culture
  • Biography

    Jan Johnson was born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho. After working as a professional musician for several years, she attended the University of Washington to study American ethnic literature, and then moved to New Orleans to attend graduate school at Tulane University. After twelve years in New Orleans, she moved back to Idaho to teach at the University of Idaho, where opportunities for research and service are abundant for her. When not working, she is swimming, hiking, biking, or visiting a city to hear music, dance, or watch a play.

  • Selected Publications
    • “Healing the Soul Wound in Sherman Alexie’s Flight and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” in Sherman Alexie: A Critical Collection, Jeff Berglund and Jan Roush, Eds., University of Utah Press, forthcoming, 2009.
    • "Performing Indianness and Excellence: Nez Perce Jazz Bands of the Twentieth Century," in American Indian Performing Arts: Critical Directions, UCLA Press, forthcoming, 2009.
    • “Debra Magpie Earling: Facing Down Violence, Re-mythologizing Family and Tribe,” in Expanding the Indigenous Literary Canon, Debra K. Barker and Connie Jacobs, Eds., forthcoming.
    • “Saving the Salmon, Saving the People: Environmental Justice and Columbia River Tribal Literatures.” The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy, Joni Adamson, Mei Mei Evans and Rachel Stein, Eds., University of Arizona Press 2002.


    • Producer, Sapatq'ayn Cinema, the University of Idaho’s annual Native American Film Festival. 2012 marked our 10th festival. See www.uidaho.edu/SapatqaynCinema. Moscow, Idaho.
    • Co-coordinator of the University of Idaho’s participation in the Nez Perce Tribe’s Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Events, 2004-2006. Moscow, Idaho.
    • Coordinator of the American Indian Studies Program, which offers a Minor and an Interdisciplinary Masters degree. More information: http://www.uidaho.edu/class/interdisciplinary/aist


    • Book Project: Indigenous Pop: co-editor with Jeff Berglund and Kimberli Lee. A collection of critical essays on indigenous popular music expression, including jazz, country & western, rockabilly, rock, folk, reggae, hip hop and punk. In progress.
    • Nez Perce tribal jazz bands of the 20th Century. Idaho, Washington, Oregon. The Nez Perce tribe produced several popular dance bands from 1900 to the 1950s which both asserted their members’ identity as modern Americans fully involved in the creation of popular culture, and as distinctly Nez Perce people.