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GREENWOOD Dist. — The Ohio State University is thrilled to welcome Stevie Johnson, Ph.D., also known as Dr. View, as the newly appointed assistant professor in creative practice in popular music.

Dr. Johnson, who will start in August of this year, has a joint appointment in the School of Music and the Department of African American and African Studies. Focusing specifically on hip-hop culture and praxis, Dr. Johnson will establish Black popular music as an integral and highly visible aspect of creative activity on Ohio State’s campus and in the Columbus arts scene.

As one of the leading hip-hop scholar-artist practitioners in the country, Dr. Johnson will bring his wealth of expertise and experience as a DJ, producer, educator and community organizer to develop courses and experiences that center music creation, performance, production, and knowledge of the music industry.

The Ohio State University Stevie Johnson Ph.D. Dr. View

Dr. Johnson completed his Ph.D. in 2019 at the University of Oklahoma. His dissertation, which was both a 250-page written dissertation and a 25-track rap album, was entitled Curriculum of the Mind: A BlackCrit, Narrative Inquiry Hip Hop Album on Anti-Blackness & Freedom for Black Male Collegians at historically white institutions.

Dr. Johnson’s trailblazing scholarship was recognized as the 2019 Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), the first time a hip-hop dissertation ever received the award. With his expertise and passion for merging hip-hop, education, community and activism, Dr. Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge to the department — one that is dedicated to developing a creative ecosystem centered around arts, music and culture.

Dr. Johnson is committed to pushing forward conversations about how we discuss history, trauma, healing joy, freedom and collective knowledge production within the process of creating hip-hop texts and albums. He is also passionate about creating positive social change through teaching and practicing creativity — something that he has shown unequivocally with Fire in Little Africa (FILA).

Dr. Johnson was the executive producer and founder of Fire in Little Africa, which is a multimedia hip-hop project that involved 60 artists and creatives from the state of Oklahoma, that developed a 21-track hip-hop album, documentary, podcast and curriculum inspired by Black Wall Street and the 100-year commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Courtsey of Dr. View/Stevie Johnson, P.h.D.
Courtsey of Dr. View/Stevie Johnson, P.h.D.

Ultimately historic record label Motown, under the leadership of former Motown Chairwoman Ethiopia Habtemariam, signed the Fire in Little Africa collective to a licensing deal, and as a result, accumulated over 5 million streams across all digital streaming platforms. With the collaboration between Ohio State and Dr. Johnson’s unique, artistic approach to teaching, students have an opportunity to tap into a hands-on approach to creating music — something they had not been able to do before now.

In addition to joining The Ohio State University family, Dr. Johnson is currently at Harvard University and serves as a 2023 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellow. The fellowship program, named after iconic rapper Nas, is housed within the Hutchins Center for African American Research and is managed and directed by American literary critic, professor, historian, and filmmaker Dr. Henry Louis Gates.

The Nasir Jones Fellowship program funds scholars and artists who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and creativity in the arts in connection with Hip Hop, seeking projects that represent individual creative and/or intellectually rigorous contributions to hip-hop and its discourse through personal projects. Lastly, Dr. View is the Spring 2023 Women’s and Gender Studies Center for Social Justice Activist-in-Residence at the University of Oklahoma. 

“I am grateful to be a part of The Ohio State community. The ability to teach and build with students is something I thought would never happen, but now we’re here and I’m ready for it. Campus is filled with some amazing, dynamic scholars and people that are committed to educating students while also learning from the community. There is a strong commitment to excellence in teaching, practice, service, and research, and I know I’m at a place that will truly support my scholarship“ said Dr. View. 

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...

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