National University

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson
Associate Professor
National University
(858) 642-8408

Dr. Johnson is a cultural critic and historian with specialties in environmental studies, race relations, and cultural theory. Before joining the faculty at NU, Dr. Johnson was a faculty member at the New College of Florida and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds a Ph.D. in US History from the University of California, Irvine and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana.

Dr. Johnson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in US History and has overseen a wide variety of student thesis projects spanning such topics as the environmental history of the Florida orange, the racial history of the federal government’s COINTEL program, the gender history of the music video industry, and the cultural history of the American lawn.

Dr. Johnson’s research combines his interests in culture, theory, and the environment. His forthcoming book is an interdisciplinary history of energy that joins the subfield of energy history to the study of American journalism, literature, film, and the visual arts.


Carbon Nation: Fossil Fuels in the Making of American Culture (University Press of Kansas 2014).

“‘Typical of Her Race’: Cultural Pluralism and the Editorial Records of Survey Graphic.” American Studies (forthcoming 2012-2013).

“‘An Upthrust into Barbarism’: Coal, Trauma, and the Origins of the Modern Self, 1885-1951.” Journal of American Culture 33.4 (December 2010).

“Globalizing the Harlem Renaissance: Irish, Mexican and ‘Negro’ Renaissances in The Survey, 1919-1929.” Journal of Global History 1.2 (2006).

“‘A Whole Synthesis of His Time’: Political Ideology and Cultural Politics in the Writings of William Carlos Williams, 1929-1939.” American Quarterly 54.2 (June 2002)