The papers of award-winning creator and Evanston native Charles Johnson have been acquired by Washington College in St. Louis, the varsity not too long ago introduced. The archival assortment of supplies associated to Dr. Johnson’s life and work is being processed and will likely be open to the general public later this yr or in early 2022.
The acquisition represents “a major addition to the supplies within the college’s Division of Particular Collections,” stated Joel Minor, Curator of the Trendy Literature Collections/Manuscripts.
Dr. Johnson is a celebrated cartoonist, longtime educator, and the award-winning creator of fiction, essays, and screenplays. In his work, he usually engages with problems with race and cultural identification, incorporating each Japanese and Western philosophy, folklore, spirituality, historical past, humor, and knowledgeable storytelling.
Spanning almost six a long time, the gathering brings collectively manuscripts, drafts, correspondence, paintings, and ephemera and serves as a testomony to Dr. Johnson’s wide-ranging profession as a public mental.
Dr. Johnson grew up in Evanston and attended Evanston Township Excessive College, the place he drew editorial and different cartoons for The Evanstonian, the varsity newspaper. He later produced two cartoon collections, “Black Humor” (1970) and “Half-Previous Nation-Time” (1972), and went on to create and host the nationally syndicated PBS tv present “Charlie’s Pad,” a collection concerning the craft of cartooning that aired from 1970 to 1980.
Dr. Johnson, who acquired his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Stony Brook College, is the creator of quite a few acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. His short-story assortment “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was nominated for the 1987 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. “Center Passage,” his 1990 novel, received the Nationwide E book Award. Dr. Johnson was certainly one of 12 Black authors (together with Maya Angelou and Rita Dove) commemorated on a collection of stamps issued in Ghana and Uganda in 1997.
“Discovering the proper dwelling for 56 years of inventive work is a uncommon alternative and a once-in-a-lifetime expertise for any creator or artist,” Dr. Johnson says. “So I really feel extraordinarily lucky that my papers have that dwelling at a college as distinguished as Washington College.”
Dr. Johnson was awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 1998. In 2002, he acquired an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He’s professor emeritus on the College of Washington, the place he started educating in 1976.
“We’re thrilled to steward the Charles Johnson Papers,” says Nadia Ghasedi, Affiliate College Librarian for the Particular Collections Companies Division on the Washington College Libraries. “Our college and college students, and the general public, will profit significantly from getting access to the work of such an influential author and illustrator. As an African American, Johnson brings an important perspective that has been lacking from our Trendy Literature Assortment.”
The Charles Johnson Papers will likely be included within the Trendy Literature Collections and within the collections of the D.B. Dowd Trendy Graphic Historical past Library. Washington College has a distinguished assortment of papers of well-known writers, together with Pleasure Williams, William Gass, Stanley Elkin, William Gaddis, James Merrill, Howard Nemerov, and Mary Jo Bang, who’s on college there. As well as, partial collections embrace the papers of Tennessee Williams, who attended the varsity; T.S. Elliot, whose grandfather was one of many faculty’s founders; and Samuel Beckett.