Georgia Johnston studies the cultures and literature of the early twentieth century. She has particular interests in Modernist Autobiography in terms of sexual theories of the period. Her 2007 book, The Formation of 20th-century Lesbian Autobiography, shows how autobiographical forms intersect with theories of desire. Her current book project, Modernism's Civilizations, focuses on the moment when evolutionary deviancy cannot provide an adequate binary opposition for the meaning of civilization, with resulting changes in textuality, genre, and subjectivities.
Georgia Johnston received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1992, where she specialized in literature by Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein. During her tenure at Saint Louis University she has served as Director and Co-Director of the Women's Studies Program; Committee Chair of Undergraduate, Graduate, and Placement Programs in English; and as the Acting Chair of the Department of English. In 1998, she organized and hosted at Saint Louis University the annual International Virginia Woolf Conference.
M.A. in Creative Writing, University of California at Davis (1983)
M.A. in English, Rutgers University (1990)
Ph.D. in English, Rutgers University (1992)
TEACHING & RESEARCH INTERESTS
Twentieth Century British Literature and Culture, Autobiography, Creative Writing (Poetry), Women and Literature, Queer Studies, Twentieth-Century Poetry
The Formation of 20th-Century Queer Autobiography: Reading Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Hilda Doolittle, and Gertrude Stein. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, May 2007. In general, Formation explores how autobiographical generic form depends upon and challenges cultural theories of subjectivity. Specifically, I argue that modernist lesbian autobiography, by queering the genre, contextualizes autobiography historically and politically, exposing the patriarchal and heterosexual basis of psychological and sexological theories.
Dr. Johnston has published articles in journals that include Biography, Woolf Studies Annual, Modern Fiction Studies, Oxford Literary Review, Journal of Modern Literature, LIT, and Women's Studies. Most recent and forthcoming articles by Dr. Johnston include:
Essays on Transgressive Readings: Reading Over the Lines. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, l997. (Editor). The anthology foregrounds the textual codes and manipulations that make possible transgression of normative cultural prescriptions, with resultant changes in cultural expectations.