Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson

Professor of English, Affiliate in Film Studies and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

380 Bachelor Hall
Oxford Campus


  • PhD in Drama History, Theory, and Criticism, University of Washington, 1996
  • MA in German Languages and Literatures, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1990
  • BA in German and Peace Studies, St. Olaf College, 1985

Research and Teaching Interests

  • American & Transnational Theatre and Performance
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Film theory, especially Feminist Film Theory
  • Eugene O’Neill
  • Performance Theory and Performance Studies
  • Theatre for Social Change

Selected Publications


  • Book in Progress, Racing the Great White Way: Eugene O’Neill and the Breaking of the Color Line
  • Sex for Sale: Six Progressive-Era Brothel Dramas, University of Iowa Press, 2015.
  • Sisters in Sin: Brothel Drama in America, 1900-1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, American Drama Series, 2006. Paperback issued in 2009.

Digital Archive and Humanities Project

  • "Prostitution & Brothel Drama in the Progressive Era." A Digital Humanities project that archives and investigates theatre, cinema, sexuality, and Progressive-Era prostitution. http://brotheldrama.lib.miamioh.edu/

Essays and Book Chapters (selected)

  • “Indecent Collaborations and/in Queer Time(s).” Co-written with Sara L. Warner.  In Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Plays by Women: the Twenty-First Century. Edited by Lesley Ferris and Penelope Farfan. University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2020.
  • "Black to Ireland: Circum-Atlantic Double Exposure and Racialized Jump Cuts in The Emperor Jones." MELUS, Volume 44, Issue 4, Winter 2019, pp.147–176. 
  • "Showing the Show: Strobridge Posters and Late Nineteenth-Century Melodrama." In Showing Off, Showing Up. Eds. Laurie Frederik Meer, Catherine Schuler, & Kim Marra. University of Michigan Press, 2017: 150-173.
  • "An Algerian in Paris: Habib Benglia’s The Emperor Jones." 69.1 Theatre Journal (2017): 21-41. Winner of the 2018 Outstanding Article Award by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
  • "Racing O’Neill." In The Theatre of Eugene O’Neill: American Modernism on Stage. Ed. Kurt Eisen. London: Bloomsbury/Methuen, October, 2017: 173 - 185.  Paperback issued in 2018. Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2018.
  • "Consumptive Chic: The Postfeminist Recycling of Camille in Moulin Rouge!" In Prostitution and Sex Work in Global Visual Media: New Takes on Fallen Women.  Ed. Danielle Hipkins and Kate Taylor. London: Palgrave Global Cinema Series, 2017: 219 -240.  
  • "Brutus Jones Remains: the Case of Jules Bledsoe." Eugene O’Neill Review 36.1 (2015): 1–28.
  • ‘Anna Christie’ at the Donmar Warehouse." Review Essay.  Eugene O’Neill Review 33.1 (2012): 126 – 140.
  • "Before Katrina: Performative Downpours in Rain & The Deluge (1922)." Modern Drama 52.3 (Fall 2009): 351–368.
  • "From Camille to Lulu Belle: Constructing the Black Prostitute in the American Brothel Drama." Querying Difference in Theatre History.  Ed. Ann Haugo and Scott Magelssen. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007: 94–105.
  • "The Salvation Lass, Her Harlot Friend, and Slum Realism in Edward Sheldon’s Salvation Nell (1908)." Theatre History Studies 26.1 (2006): 88–107. 
  • ‘Anna Christie’: A Repentant Courtesan, Made Respectable." Eugene O’Neill Review 26 (2004): 87–104. 
  • "Rachel Crothers’ Ourselves: Feminist Dramaturgy in the Brothel Drama."Journal of American Drama & Theatre 15.3 (Fall 2003): 101—121.
  • "Damaged Goods: Sex Hysteria & the Prostitute Fatale.Theatre Survey 44 (2003): 43–67
  • "Zaza: That Obtruding Harlot of the Stage." Theatre Journal 54 (May 2002): 223–43. Winner of the Gerald Kahan Scholar Award
  • "Command Performances: Staging Native Americans at Tillicum Village." Co-written with Tamara Underiner. In Selling the Indian: Commercialism and the Appropriation of American Indian Cultures, ed. Carter Jones Meyer and Diana Royer. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001.
  • "Televising the Panopticon:  The Myth of ‘Reality-Based’ TV."  American Drama 8.2 (1999): 1–26.  Finalist for the "Best of American Drama Essays."
  • "Censoring Sapho: Regulating the Fallen Woman and Prostitute on the New York Stage." ATQ: 19th-Century American Literature & Culture 10.3 (1996): 167­–186.

Theatre Reviews

  • "Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Tao House." Eugene O’Neill Review, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2020, forthcoming.
  • "Woyzeck in Winter." Theatre Journal 70.2 (2018): 236–238.
  • "Anna Christie in Paris." Eugene O’Neill Review 36.2 (Fall 2015): 235-238.
  • "Strange Interlude at London’s National Theatre." Eugene O’Neill Review 35.1 (2014): 113–117.
  • "Long Day’s Journey Into Night at London's Apollo Theatre." Eugene O’Neill Review 34.1 (2013): 122-25.
  • "Hairy Ape at London’s Southwark Playhouse." Eugene O’Neill Review 34.1 (2013): 126–30.
  • "The Physicists at London’s Donmar Warehouse." Theatre Journal 65.1 (2013): 107–109.
  • "When Strange is Good: A Neo-Futurist Strange Interlude." Eugene O’Neill Review 31 (2009): 114 -121.

Dramaturgy & Playbills

  • Playbill essay, "The Right Kind of Prostitute in Eugene O’Neill's ‘Anna Christie’" London: Donmar Warehouse, August 2011, with Jude Law and Ruth Wilson. Production won an Olivier Award for Best Revival.
  • Dramaturg, Down in Mississippi by Carlyle Brown. Gates Theatre, Miami University: October 2009. Winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Special Recognition Award for Interactive Lobby Display in collaboration with director Ann Elizabeth Armstrong and students.
  • "Dramaturgy Notes." Down in Mississippi Playbill. 2009. Co-editor, 36 pages.
  • Dramaturg, Machinal. Gates Theatre, Miami University: April 1998.
  • Dramaturg, Taming of The Shrew.  Simon Fraser University: Fall 1996.
  • Dramaturg and Co-Creator: The Weaker Vessel: An Examination of Shakespeare’s Women.  Seattle Fringe Festival, 1995.

Creative Scholarship

  • Performer, Tania Candiani’s Cincinnati Project, a multimedia piece that reimagines the Cincinnati Industrial Expositions that took place between 1870 and 1888. Exhibition May – August 2020 at Cincinnati Art Center.
  • Director of student-devised project, #ThisIsMiami, a collaborative theatre piece exploring the layers of identity at Miami University.
  • Director, segment of Every 28 Hours, a nation-wide staged-reading of 90 one-minute plays about the Black Lives Matter Movement. Gates Theatre, Miami University. October 2017.
  • Co-director, It Can’t Happen Here (staged reading) adapted by Tony Taccone and Bennett Cohen. Black Box Theatre, Miami University, May 2, 2017.
  • Interviewee, documentary film, Rediscovering Kate Carew (director, Barnard Jaffier; Jaffa Films, LLC) forthcoming 2015. Trailer at: https://vimeo.com/87713803.

Grants and Awards

  • Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Fellowship, the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, 2019
  • Miami University Humanities Center Teaching Lab Faculty: Performing Social Justice, 2019
  • Outstanding Article Award, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 2018
  • Professor of the Year, Miami University’s Sigma Tau Delta, 2018
  • Faculty Summer Research Award, 2016, 2010, 2004 & 2000
  • Miami University Faculty Research Travel Grant, 2016, 2010 & 2000
  • Miami University Howe Writing Center Grant, 2013
  • Wardlaw Research Fellowship, The Texas Collection, Baylor University, 2012
  • Phillip Knox Teaching Award, Miami University, 2011
  • Research Fellowship, American Society for Theatre Research, 2011
  • College of Arts & Science Distinguished Educator Award, Miami University (2009–2010)
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Miami University Center for the Enhancement for Teaching (2010)
  • Miami University Research Grant, College of Arts & Science, 2006
  • Gerald Kahan Junior Scholar's Prize, American Society of Theatre Research, 2012
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2001

Work in Progress

Johnson is completing her third book, Racing the Great White Way: Broadway, Eugene O’Neill and the Breaking of the Color Line. This interdisciplinary project challenges existing histories of Broadway to chart a fresh account of vital and formative moments in American culture. Racing the Great White Way shows how theatre (and, by extension, cultural practice) was changed by Eugene O’Neill’s plays as they were raced by actors of color, moved to alternate venues, and altered through performance choices and dramaturgical pairings.

Together with Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Johnson is launching the inaugural Humanities Center Lab: Performing Social Justice, Staging Headlines, which features student-engaged research and experience-based projects that utilize performance as a methodology of engaging vital social issues and enacting social change.