OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Susan Lee Johnson

Portrait of Susan Lee Johnson

Susan Lee Johnson is a professor of history, Chicanx and Latinx studies, and gender and women's studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush (2000), which won the Bancroft Prize and the W. Turrentine Jackson Prize. Johnson recently completed a book manuscript entitled "A Traffic in Men: The Old Maid, the Housewife, and Their Great Westerner," a critical biography of two white women, amateur but published historians, who practiced a traffic in men, in part through their fascination with the famous westerner Kit Carson. It examines relationships between women historians and male historical subjects and between professional and amateur scholars. It also explores the practice of history in the context of everyday life, the seductions of gender in the context of racialized power, and the spatiotemporal dimensions of twentieth-century relationships predicated on nineteenth-century regional pasts. Johnson is currently researching how the Santa Fe Trail connected two distinct and disparate worlds of slavery in the nineteenth century.

OAH Lectures