Jessica A. Johnson

Person Profile

Personal Information
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Jessica A.
Contact Information
Office Phone: 
(206) 221-8130
Academic Information
Research Summary: 
My book manuscript, Biblical Porn: Gender, Sexuality and Evangelical Empire is based on eight years (2006-2014) of gathering ethnographic evidence. By 2014, Mars Hill Church of Seattle had expanded into an evangelical enterprise broadcasting Preaching and Vision Pastor Mark Driscoll on flat screens floating over the sanctuaries of 15 facilities in 5 U.S. states, until scandals concerning the manipulation of funds and followers led to the closure of three in October. This investigation is empirically grounded in the local effects and bodily affects of the global circulation of Driscoll’s posture in voice; I draw connections between its audio, visual, and digital communication to examine its political and economic value. In 2014, I attended a protest organized by Christians triggered by an online video in which Driscoll called those who had been openly accusing him of abuses in authority “anonymous.” In its opening, Driscoll physically and verbally gestures to and with a bible while speaking of the church’s “staggering” growth; in its closing, he describes the folding of actual pornography into pew bibles. In effect, pornography not only literally materializes embedded in scripture, but also immaterially manifests in a social imaginary that involves audiences live and remote—visual, visceral, and virtual networks, processes, and spaces produced in, through, and as the material and immaterial affective labor that I call ‘biblical porn.’
<p>My pedagogical philosophy is shaped by my myriad experiences as an instructor in Tokyo, Prague, and Seattle. Working with students from diverse backgrounds plays a vital role in my passion for teaching courses such as: Anthropology of the Body; Anthropology of Christianity; Visual Media/Culture; Queer Desires; War, Gender, and Citizenship. I design classes that ask students to be attentive to intersectional processes of subject formation through hands-on projects that enhance their critical reading and writing skills. As a feminist and queer studies scholar-activist, I encourage students to consider the political impact of everyday texts and cultural practices, a commitment that has led to my nomination for numerous teaching awards at the University of Washington, including the 2013-2014 Distinguished Teaching Award.</p>
Sociocultural Anthropology
<p>Anthropology of Christianity, Gender and Feminist Studies, Sexuality and Queer Studies, Visual and Digital Culture, Affect, Neoliberalism, Militarism; United States</p>
Selected Publications