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BSP Co-Directors

Sara E. Johnson

Sara Johnson received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and her B.A. from Yale in Comparative Literature and African American Studies. She has performed extensive research abroad, living in Senegal, Cuba, Haiti and Martinique. Recent fellowships include those from the Ford Foundation, the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Program, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Hellman Fund, the UC Consortium for Black Studies, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Her book The Fear of French Negroes: Transcolonial Collaboration in the Revolutionary Americas (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012) is an inter-disciplinary study that explores how people responded to the collapse and reconsolidation of colonial life in the aftermath of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1845). The book traces expressions of transcolonial black politics, both aesthetic and experiential, in places including Hispaniola, Louisiana, Jamaica, and Cuba. It was published by the University of California Press as part of the Modern Language initiative, a partnership between the Modern Language Association, the Mellon Foundation, and several university presses. 

She is currently working on a book documenting the work of Moreau de Saint-Méry, a late eighteenth-century Caribbean intellectual. The book combines traditional academic chapters and experimental work that plays with archival fragments and visual culture to tell the stories of free people of color and enslaved women and men who enabled Moreau’s work. 

Johnson is the co-editor of  Kaiso! Writings By and About Katherine Dunham (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, Studies in Dance History Series, 2006) and  Una ventana a Cuba y los Estudios cubanos (San Juan: Ediciones Callejon, Spring 2010).  Kaiso! was named one of the top ten arts books of 2006. 

Professor Johnson’s research and teaching areas include literature, theory and history of the Hispanophone, Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean and its diasporas; hemispheric American literature and cultural studies; the Age of Revolution in the extended Americas; and music and dance of the African Diaspora.   

She has been a mentor for the McNair program and the Undergraduate Faculty Mentor program. She has also served on over forty doctoral committees and her former students have gone on to various postdoctoral programs and to tenure-track jobs at institutions including the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina, California State University, the College of William and Mary, the University of New Orleans, Brigham Young University, Arizona State University, Seattle Pacific University, Tulane University, East Stroudsburg University, Palomar Community College, Yale University, and Florida International University. She is currently on the Council of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of its book program and the William and Mary Quarterly editorial board. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry.

Angela Booker

Angela Booker is currently studying ways youth, families, and schools make use of media and technology for participation, learning, and community development. She is particularly concerned with addressing barriers that diminish access to public participation among underrepresented and disenfranchised communities. She uses ethnographic, qualitative, and design-based research methods to examine typical and emerging practices where youth and adults work together (and at times, in conflict). Collaborations with youth, community partners, educators, and scholars form the basis of her work.