E. Patrick Johnson will discuss his documentary film, Making Sweet Tea, based on his book Sweet Tea and the performance he developed from it. The film combines footage from the rehearsals and productions of the play with documentary moments from the lives of both his interview subjects from the book and his own life. Depicting both his research process and the complexities of his relationships with the men in the study, Johnson will show clips from the film-in-progress to engage questions about how we represent portions of other people’s life stories and how those stories impact researchers, audiences and, more importantly, the people whose stories are represented.
E. Patrick Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies, chair of the department of African American Studies, and the founder and director of the Black Arts Initiative at Northwestern University. A scholar, artist, and activist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality, and performance. He is the author of two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness and Sweet Tea. He is the editor of Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood and No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies. He is co-editor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology and (with Ramon Rivera-Servera) of solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews, and essays and Blacktino Queer Performance. He is currently at work on an oral history of black southern women who love women.