Erik Johnson

Assistant Professor of Communication & Media Studies

I teach classes on the history and theory of rhetoric, traditions of rhetorical criticism, African rhetoric, and global communication and media. My research focuses on political performance and social change in Ghana's anticolonial movement.

  • PhD, Northwestern University
  • BA, Indiana University Bloomington


Erik Johnson


Erik Johnson, PhD is an assistant professor in the communication and media studies department and a member of the Africana studies program. He teaches classes on rhetorical theory and criticism, African rhetoric and media, intercultural communication and visual communication. He uses Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) to facilitate inclusive classroom dialogues across difference and address issues of social justice. His research combines methods of textual analysis, archival research and fieldwork to study forms of communicative artistry within global political cultures. He is writing a book titled Ghana at Midnight: Rhetoric and the Invention of Freedom, which looks at systems of public discourse that defined Ghana's independence struggle as well as how those systemizations spread across decolonizing Africa and the African diaspora. Another research project uses qualitative interviews and methods of oral history to critique plantation slavery tourism and consider alternative models of commemoration related to the legacies of enslavement in the Gulf South.

More About Erik Johnson

Areas of Expertise

  • African rhetoric
  • Global media
  • Ghana
  • Intergroup Dialogue (IGD)

Course Sampling

  • Rhetorical Theory & Criticism
  • African Rhetorical Traditions
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Intergroup Dialogue

  • Rhetorical traditions of Africa and the African diaspora
  • Pan-Africanism
  • Public memory and legacies of enslavement in the Gulf South
  • Transnational public discourse

  • "In the Midnight Hour: Anticolonial Address and Postcolonial Statecraft in Ghana." Review of Communication 22, no. 1 (2022): 60-75.
  • "Slavery, Tourism, and Memory in New Orleans's Plantation Country." Africa Today 65, no. 4 (2019): 100-18.
  • "Nkrumah and the Crowd: Mass Politics in Emergent Ghana." Advances in the History of Rhetoric 17, no. 1 (2014): 98-107.