Ronald M Johnson


Professor Emeritus


Department of History
General profile



+1 202-687-6193


620 ICC


Ronald Johnson is a specialist in nineteenth-century (19th) American cultural history with an emphasis in gender, race, and post-Civil War culture.

He is the co-author (with Abby Arthur Johnson) of Propaganda and Aesthetics: the Literary Politics of African American Periodicals in the Twentieth Century (University of Massachusetts Press, rev. ed. 1992) and is currently working (with Abby Arthur Johnson) on a cultural history of Congressional Cemetery, Washington D.C. as the first national cemetery in the United States. Professor Johnson has served on the American Studies Committee since 1975 and was director/chair from 1979-85 and 19892000.

Professor Johnson offers courses on the American cultural experience, focusing on literary developments, such as his course on "Mark Twain's America, 1870-1900," or technological and reform history as in his "Perfecting America: Reform, Technology, and Society, 1830-1900." He also teaches a course on "What Is An American? -- Studies in Cultural Identity in the United States."


  • Ph.D. (1970) University of Illinois,
  • M.A. (1965) University of Kansas,
  • B.A. (1961) College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas,