Former Richards Center postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jessica Johnson recently published her first book, Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World, with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Drawing “on archival documents scattered in institutions across three continents, written in multiple languages… Wicked Flesh argues that African women and women of African descent endowed free status with meaning through active, aggressive, and sometimes unsuccessful intimate and kinship practices. Their stories, in both their successes and their failures, outline a practice of freedom that laid the groundwork for the emancipation struggles of the nineteenth century and reshaped the New World” (University of Pennsylvania Press). Johnson is Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She was the Richards Center’s inaugural postdoctoral fellow in African American history during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Johnson also is actively engaged in digital scholarship, bringing historical research to a broader audience through social media. She is a founding curatrix at African Diaspora, Ph.D. or #ADPhD, co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group with Dr. Vanessa Holden (University of Kentucky), a member of the LatiNegrxs Project, and a Digital Alchemist at the Center for Solutions to Online Violence. Recently, she partnered with Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo of Howard University to create the online Slavery Archive Book Club “to discuss newly published books on slavery and the Afro-Atlantic world.” Interested participants can register at the Slavery Archive website to attend the book discussions on Zoom or simply view the sessions on the Slavery Archive’s YouTube channel