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English Faculty

Glen M. Johnson – Ordinary Professor

Glen Johnson

Glen Johnson is Professor of English and also teaches in the Media Studies Department. He has been a member of the CUA faculty since 1981, having previously taught at Grinnell College and the University of Louisville. He received undergraduate and doctoral degrees in American Studies, and specializes in American literature and culture, particularly film.

Dr. Johnson’s scholarship has focused primarily on the works and cultural contexts of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was editor or co-editor of four volumes in Emerson’s Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks, Topical Notebooks, and Works, and has published articles on Emerson’s manuscripts, compositional techniques, and critical reputation. He has also published articles or made scholarly presentations on fiction writers (Twain, Crane, Faulkner, Warren, Cheever, Melville, Richardson) and canon formation. An edited book on American performance art appeared in 2006. His current project examines the earliest years (1839-1843) of photography in the United States. 

He has taught a wide range of courses in literature at the undergraduate and graduate levels and in media studies. In recent years he has developed advanced undergraduate courses exploring pairs of American fiction writers (Hawthorne and Melville, Twain and James, Hemingway and Fitzgerald). Committed to interdisciplinary studies, he continues to offer pioneering courses on Alfred Hitchcock (taught for over thirty years), Abraham Lincoln in literature and film (developed as part of CUA’s “Lincoln semester” for the 2009 bicentennial), American humor, and international crime cinema. During his years at CUA, he received student-chosen recognition for teaching and academic advising.
Dr. Johnson served for twenty years as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Arts & Sciences, during which time he was a founder of the Media Studies Department and helped to develop an Honors Program sequence in Communication Technology and Culture. For more than twenty-five years he served as an officer of Catholic University’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter.



Selected Publications

“Emerson and His Legacies: Critics 1836-1945.” Emerson in Context, ed. Wesley Mott. Cambridge University Press, 2014. Pp. 265-73.
Letters and Social Aims and Uncollected Prose Writings. Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vols. 8 and 10. Edited with R. A. Bosco and Joel Myerson. Harvard University Press, 2010 and 2013.
“Mark Twain and the New Americanists.” Mark Twain Among the Scholars, ed. Richard Hill and Jim McWilliams. Whitson Publishing, 2003. Pp. 119-130.
“Performing Access: Tim Miller, Larry Sanders, and Jay Leno.” Text and Performance Quarterly, 18 (1998): 137-44.
Topical Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 3. Editor. University of Missouri Press, 1994.
"Ralph Waldo Emerson on Isaac Hecker: A Manuscript with Commentary." Catholic Historical Review, 79 (1993): 54-64.
Emerson's Essay 'Immortality': The Problem of Authorship." American Literature, 56 (1984): 313-30. Reprinted in On Emerson: The Best from American Literature (Duke University Press, 1988).
"Emerson's Craft of Revision: The Composition of Essays (1841)." Studies in the American Renaissance 1980, ed. Joel Myerson. Twayne, 1980. Reprinted in Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Lawrence Buell (Prentice-Hall, 1993).

Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 16. Edited with R. A. Bosco. Harvard University Press, 1982. 

Selected Presentations

“Audio Performance of Moby-Dick.” Moby-Dick 2001 Conference, Hofstra University.
"One Hundred Fifty Years of 'Experience.'" Modern Language Association, 1994.
"American Literature Anthologies." Modern Language Association, 1990.


Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, School of Arts & Sciences, 1991-2012.

Director, Media Studies Program, 1993-1999, 2001-2002.
Program Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1984-85.


Office: Marist Annex 
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone:  202-319-5488




  • ENG/MDIA 366: American Humor
  • ENG/MDIA 395: Lincoln in Literature and Film
  • ENG 403: Mark Twain & Henry James
  • ENG 404: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein
  • ENG/MDIA 451: Film Narrative—Hitchcock
  • ENG/MDIA 455: The Crime Film
  • ENG 489: Hawthorne & Melville
  • ENG 673: The Great American Novel?


Ph.D.: English and American Studies, Indiana University, 1976.

B.A.: American Studies, Michigan State University, 1968.


Areas of Expertise

  • American literature
  • Emerson and American Transcendentalism
  • Narrative fiction
  • Film of the classical Hollywood era