Wednesday, November 20 | 4:00 p.m.
“Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of The South Tell Their Tales,” E. Patrick Johnson, Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies, Northwestern University
University Center Ballroom
This Humanities Forum is sponsored by the Department of Gender and Women Studies, and co-sponsored with the Dresher Center for the Humanities.
E. Patrick Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and an Artistic Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College, Chicago. A scholar, activist and artist, Johnson performs nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality and performance.
Johnson is a prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies. He has written two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (Duke UP, 2003), which won the Lilla A. Heston Award, the Errol Hill Book Award, and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History (University of North Carolina UP, 2008), which was recognized as a Stonewall Book Award Honor Book by the LGBT Round Table of the American Library Association. He co-edited Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology (Duke UP, 2005).
Johnson’s performance work dovetails with his written work. He toured his one-man show, Strange Fruit, an autobiographical mediation on race, gender, class, and region to over 30 college campuses from 1998 – 2003. His staged reading, “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales” is based on his book, Sweet Tea, and has toured to over 80 college campuses from 2006 to the present. In 2009, he translated the staged reading into a full-length stage play, Sweet Tea—The Play, which was co-produced by About Face Theater and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College, Chicago. The play had its world premiere in April 2010 and had a month run to rave reviews. He won a Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Solo Performance for the show. In Fall 2011, the show had a 4-week run at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.
He was also awarded the Leslie Irene Coger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Performance by the National Communication Association, the Randy Majors Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to LGBT Scholarship in Communication and was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame—all in 2010.
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