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Jan Johnson

Clinical Associate Professor, Director of the Africana Studies Program


224 Brink Hall

Mailing Address

English Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1102
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1102

Jan Johnson teaches ethnic American literatures, American Indian and Africana Studies courses, and race in America.

  • Ph.D., Tulane University, American Literature, Post-Colonial Theory, 1999
  • B.A., with honors, University of Washington, 1990

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 12 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 with her dogs, biking or visiting a city to hear music, dance or watch a play.

  • Decolonization in contemporary Native American literature and communities
  • Native Americans in popular music
  • Black Lives Matter
  • African American literatures
  • Teaching About Race and Racism


  • Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop, Jeff Berglund, Jan Johnson and Kimberli Lee, Editors. University of Arizona Press, 2016.
  • “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, 2010.
  • “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.

  • Book Project. From Nez Perce to Niimíipuu: Ceremonies of Decolonization. This project explores various performative ways the Nez Perce Tribe is recovering from the legacy of settler colonialism and creating a self-determined future. Chapters include the tribe's participation in Chief Joseph Days rodeo, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, Fish Wars and Megaloads resistance, and language revitalization.

  • Jan serves on the Idaho Humanities Council helping to bring humanities education and events to Idahoans.
  • She is President of a non-profit group working to renovate and reopen the historic Liberty Theater on Main Street in Lewiston, Idaho.
  • Producer, Sapaatkayn Cinema, the University of Idaho’s annual Native American Film Festival. 2012 marked our 10th festival. Moscow, Idaho.

English Department

Physical Address:
200 Brink Hall

Mailing Address:
English Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1102
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1102

Phone: 208-885-6156


Web: English