headshot photo of Denise Johnson

Denise Johnson

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of Art
Expertise: Feminism; Contemporary Art; Chicano/a Art Movement; Art and Social Justice
Scholarly Works:
Scholarly Works


Denise Johnson is a Lecturer in Art History specializing in contemporary art in the U.S., feminist art, and the art of Black Americans. She has taught at Chapman University since 2014, and at a number of Southern Californian community colleges and universities since 2000. She earned a B.A. in Art and Psychology from UC Riverside and an MFA from Cal Arts with a focus in contemporary art theory and feminist art. She is currently reading for qualifying exams in the doctoral program in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Denise has taught all periods of western art history from the prehistoric era to the present, including: Black Subjects in White Art History; Gender, Art, and Western Culture; and the history of photography, along with studio courses in black-and-white photography and drawing. As well, Denise has curated a number of contemporary art exhibitions examining feminism, motherhood, the history of photography, and California’s landscapes, and has written for Make/Shift magazine and Punk & Post-Punk journal. She has served on the Chapman Diversity Project’s People of Color Advisory Committee and was Faculty Co-Chair of the Women's Advisory Group. Denise was a part of Chapman's Getty Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative, My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County.

When not in the classroom or museum, Denise enjoys reading, writing, yoga, silkscreening, participating in social justice causes, supporting efforts to address climate change, and spending time with her family and friends.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Curatorial Projects