Kelli Johnson

Associate Professor

Rentschler 217
Hamilton Campus


  • Ph.D., English, Northern Illinois University
  • M.A., French, Northern Illinois University
  • B.A., French, University of Iowa

Teaching Interests

  • Literature
  • Composition

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Slave Narratives
  • Human Rights Novels and Narratives
  • Testimony and testimonio
  • Women's Literature

Selected Publications

  • "The New Slave Narrative: Advocacy and Human Rights in Stories of Contemporary Slavery." Journal of Human Rights 12.3 (forthcoming, September 2013).
  • Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Theater. Oxford: Miami University Press, 2009. (co-editor)
  • Julia Alvarez: Writing a New Place on the Map. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
  • “Writing Home: Mapping Puerto Rican Collective Memory in The House on the Lagoon.” Writing Of(f) the Hyphen: Critical Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. Ed. José Torres-Padilla and Carmen H. Rivera. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008, 239-55.
  • “Writing Deeper Maps: Mapmaking, Local Indigenous Knowledges, and Literary Nationalism in Native Women’s Writing.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 19.4 (Winter 2007), 103-20.
  • “‘The Terrible Moral Disinheritance of Exile’: Asymptosy and Dis-integration in Julia Alvarez’s In the Name of Salomé." Journal of Caribbean Literatures 4.1 (Fall 2005).
  • “Acts of War, Acts of Memory: ‘Dead-Body Politics’ in U. S. Latina Fiction of the Salvadoran Civil War.” Latino Studies 3.1 (Fall 2005): 200-225.
  • “Violence in the Borderlands: Crossing to the Home Space in the Novels of Ana Castillo.“ Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 25.1 (Spring 2004): 39-58.
  • “Both Sides of the Massacre: Collective Memory and Narrative on Hispaniola.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 36.2 (June 2003): 75-91.
  • “Lost in el olvido: Translation and Collective Memory in Achy Obejas’s Days of Awe.”The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe 27.2 (Spring 2004).

Work in Progress

Dr. Johnson is working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled "'This Is My Story': The New Slave Narrative." This book offers the first analysis of narratives told (and sometimes written) by people enslaved in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. These first-person narratives create a critical intersection between international human rights law and human rights advocacy, activism, and service.