As an interdisciplinary scholar, my career-sustaining interest investigates the material-digital-discursive implications of power, production, and possibility in rhetorical knowledge infrastructures. That is, I am curious about how communities learn to rhetorically invent and enact culturally complex communicative acts through digital and multimodal technologies in spite of oppressive surveillance infrastructures. In terms of method, I comfortably deploy qualitative methods, including classroom ethnography and in-depth interviewing, as well as rhetorical criticism and theory to study phenomenon emergent from complex social ecologies. Methodologically, I entangle queer, feminist of color, crip, and antiracist meaning-making practices with digital rhetorical theories to not only question normative assumptions built into our cultural infrastructures but also generate critical frameworks for worldbuilding. Addressing the vastness of these curiosities requires forming what I call “coalitional praxis.” Through coalitional praxis I question how human and nonhuman agentive bodies use technologies (or are used by technologies) when composing collective action grounded in the embodiminded histories, rhetorics, and pedagogies. I am particularly interested in the influence of mobile technologies (ubiquitous computing), surveillance logics, and digital infrastructures in the Anthropocene. Instead of “mastering” a narrow topic of expertise, my goal is to establish a clear scholarly ethic based in coalitional praxis that attends to the complexity of rhetorical education(s) within and beyond academe.
Below are brief descriptions of select upcoming projects. I'm happy to answer questions or provide further details upon request.
Talking Back Through Rhetorical Surveillance Studies: Intersectional Feminist and Queer Approaches
(Peitho Cluster Fall 2024)
"Surveillance" invokes the systemic observational practices purposefully used when controlling bodies. Recently interdisciplinary scholars have engaged intersectional feminist and queer frameworks to better understand surveillance cultures. How will rhetoric, composition, and technical communications "talk back"?
Special cluster conversation for Peitho. Co-edited with Morgan Banville. Fall 2024 publication.
Interfacing Accountability: Refusing Technologies of Academic Surveillance (book project)
This book-length project enacts a queer-feminist following around method/ology (Ahmed) to interrogate the long-standing use(s) of “accountability” within academe as a necropolitical logic and the possibilities of “being accountable” as a transgressive queer-feminist embodiminded rhetorical practice. Accountability, as a god-term in Westernized higher education, is imbued with deep rhetoricity, or an obligation to respond (Davis). Our necessary response to accountability, as defined within academe, I argue, enables necropolitical policies and pedagogies, which make possible and profitable the management of death (Mbeme), that disproportionally impacts Black, indigenous, people of color, trans, queer, poor, disabled, and otherwise Othered populations. Most critically, such policies and pedagogies sustain academic surveillance regimes through education technologies (EdTech) and deeply ingrained technologies of governmentality. In following around while working out and working on accountability’s rhetoricity, I demonstrate how separate composings of accountability come into being. For example, using accountability to the university facilitates necropolitical pedagogies and building on queer and Black Feminist coalitional and fugitive activisms among students and teachers being accountable for each other in but not of the university. Rendering visible these uses, not only makes clear the material, embodiminded nature of accountability but also determines our response-ability vis-à-vis our proximities and relations to institutions, technologies, and each other. Such rendered determinations hold space wherein a refusal of accountability can be initiated through queer-feminist pedagogies (Campt; Kynard; Smilges). In sum, this book argues for a deep examination of the rhetoricity of accountability, its necropolitical deployment through academic surveillance technologies, and the worldbuilding potentialities of a queer-feminist refusal grounded in but not of the university.
queer-feminist following around method/ology; accountability; being accountable; necopolitical policies and pedagogies; education technologies; technologies of governmentality; refusal; in but not of the university
Johnson, G.P. (forthcoming, 2025). "On Being Accountable: Queer-Feminist Pedagogies of Refusal in but not of the Necropolitical University." In J. Rhodes and S. Nur Cooley (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminist Rhetorics. Routledge.
Johnson, G.P. (2020). "Grades as a Technology of Surveillance: Normalization, Control, Big Data, and the Teaching of Writing." In E. Beck and L. Hutchinson Campos (Eds), Privacy Matters: Conversations about Surveillances Within and Beyond the Classroom. (pp. 53-72). Utah State University Press.