In this presentation, Charles Johnson describes the journey that took him from being a cartoonist and journalist in his late teens and early twenties to becoming a novelist, philosopher, literary scholar, essayist, short story and screenwriter, and a college professor. The spirit of this journey is captured in a statement by John Muir: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
Given the conditions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be staged in a hybrid format.
All are invited to attend virtually via Zoom, and we hope members of the Washington University community who are able will attend in person. In-person attendance is limited by seating capacity.
This event has passed.
Charles Johnson, professor emeritus, University of Washington, is the Pollock Professor of English, author of 16 books, among them the novels Middle Passage, Oxherding Tale, Faith and the Good Thing, and Dreamer; the story collections: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (nominated for a PEN/Faulkner award), Soulcatcher and Other Stories, and Dr. King’s Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories; and works of philosophy and criticism such as Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970 and Turning the Wheel: Essays on Buddhism and Writing. He is also a screenwriter, essayist, professional cartoonist, international lecturer, and for 20 years served as fiction editor of Seattle Review. He received the 1990 National Book Award (fiction) for Middle Passage, NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, a Writers Guild Award for his PBS drama Booker, two Washington State Governor’s Awards for literature, the Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and numerous other prizes and honorary degrees. In 1998 he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship (“genius” grant), and in 2003 literary scholars founded the Charles Johnson Society at the American Literature Association.
Co-sponsored by The Center for Humanities.