Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, School of Journalism

Kevin B. Johnson teaches in the film studies program at AAU. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Germanics at the University of Washington in Seattle. His particular scholarly focus is Central European cinema, culture, and literature of the 20th century, with particular attention to points of intersection between Czech, German, and Austrian cinema culture. Johnson has taught at a variety of institutions in both the USA and in Prague, including the University of Washington, Lawrence University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Charles University. He currently teaches at several other institutions in Prague outside of AAU.

In addition to teaching, Johnson maintains an active research and publishing agenda. He has published several articles on Czech and German cinema of the 1930s and 40s, and was primary translator (from Czech and German) for the volume Cinema All the Time: An Anthology of Czech Film Theory and Criticism, 1908-1939. He is also regularly involved in translating various types of texts into English for the Czech National Film Archive (NFA). In the off-season, when not teaching, he often conducts tours around Prague for tourists.


Film history, film analysis, film theory and criticism, 20th century German culture, Central European culture

courses taught

Introduction to Film Studies; Eroticism, Power, and Fate in the Cinema of Central Europe

publications & other activities

  • “Barrandov’s First Fifteen Years: Genres, Stars, Germans, and the State.” Hollywood of Eastern Europe: The Barrandov Studios. Bernd Herzogenrath, ed. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP. Forthcoming.
  • Translator (from Czech to English): Jan Trnka. The Czech Film Archive 1943-1993: Institutional Development and Problems of Practice. Prague: National Film Archive, 2018.
  • “Ze soboty na neděli: Sound, Technology, and an Ambivalent Encounter with Modernity.” Czech Cinema Revisited: Politics, Aesthetics, Genres and Techniques, Lucie Česálková ed. Praha: Národní filmový archiv, 2016, 251-275.
  • Czech edition: “Ze soboty na neděli – Zvuk, technika a dvojznačné setkání s modernitou,” Zpět k českému filmu: Politika, estetika, žánry a techniky, Lucie Českálková (ed.), Praha: Národní filmový archiv, 2016, 237-261.
  • “Foreign Attractions: Czech Stars and Ethnic Masquerade.” Continuity and Crisis in German Cinema 1928-1936, Barbara Hales, Mihaela Petrescu, and Valerie Weinstein, editors, Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2016, 210-229.
  • Translator (from German and Czech) and language editor, Cinema in Service of the State: Perspectives on Film Culture in the GDR and Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960, Lars Karl and Pavel Skopal, editors, New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015.
  • “Central European Accents: Gustav Machatý, Karel Lamač, and German Cinema,” Iluminace 25:4 (2013) 41-61.
  • “Fascinations for the Nation: American Serial Film, Czechoslovakia, and the Afterlives of Pearl White,” Exporting Perilous Pauline: Pearl White and the Serial Film Craze, Marina Dahlquist, editor, U of Illinois P. 2013, 126-159.
  • Co-editor and contributor, Visegrad Cinema: Points of Contact from the New Waves to the Present, Praha: Casablanca 2010.
  • Translator, Cinema All the Time: An Anthology of Czech Film Theory and Criticism, 1908-1939, Jaroslav Anděl and Petr Szczepanik, editors, Prague: National Film Archive, 2008.
  • “Kulturelle (Nicht-)Vermischung: Nation, Ort, und Identität in tschechisch-deutschen Mehrsprachenversionen,” Zwischen Barrandov und Babelsberg: Deutsch-Tschechische Filmbeziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert, Johannes Roschlau, editor, München: edition text + kritik, 2008, 71-83.
  • “Čí je to Heimat? Estetika národnosti a politika místa v jazykových verzích filmu Jana (1935/6)” (“Whose Heimat is it? The Aesthetics of Nation and Politics of Place in the German and Czech versions of Jana [1935/6]”), Iluminace 20:1 (2008) 69-83.
  • “Happy Together? - Gustav Machatý’s Cinema of Connection and Dislocation,” NECS annual conference, Potsdam, July 28-30, 2016.
  • “Invention, Utopia, and National Socialism: German Sci-Fi Cinema and Other Creations of the Nazi Era,” NECS annual conference, Milan, June 19-21, 2014.
  • “Nazi Propaganda and the Politics of Active Spectatorship in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia,” NECS annual conference, Prague, June 20-22, 2013.
  • “(Re)Imagining German Bohemia: Prag-Film and Third Reich Cinema,” NECS annual conference, Lisbon, June 21-23, 2012.
  • “Sounds of the Sudeten Heimat: Projections of National Identity in German and Czech films from the 1930s,” NECS annual conference, London, June 23-26, 2011.
  • “The Death of Eros on the Battlefield of Central Europe,” Film and History Conference, Milwaukee, Nov. 11-14, 2010.
  • “Prague and the Urban Uncanny in German Cinema: Portraits of a Divided City,” NECS annual conference, Istanbul, June 24-27, 2010.
  • “Kulturelle Mischungen: Nation, Ort, und Identität in den deutsch-tschechischen Sprachversionen,” CineGraph Kongress, Hamburg, Germany, November 22-24, 2007.
  • “Die Schilderung von Prag und Böhmen in Produktionen der Prag-Film im filmhistorischen Kontext,” conference: Cinematography in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and its Reich German Context (Kinematografie v Protektorátu Čechy a Morava a její říšskoněmecké souvislosti), Ústí nad lábem, Czech Republic, November 30-December 2, 2006.
  • “Protiněmecké diváctví za protektorátu a reakce na ně” (“Anti-German Spectatorship During the Protectorate and German Reactions Against it”), tenth annual Czech-Slovak Film Conference (10. Česko-Slovenská filmologická konference), Poněšice, Czech Republic, October 21-22, 2006.
  • “Čechy and Böhmen: The Codification and Co(m)modification of Czech Lands in the Czech-German Multiple Language Film Versions of the 1930s,” Seventh Czech Workshop, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 21-23, 2006.
  • “Lulu and the Economy of Spectacle in Pabst’s Die Büchse der Pandora,” Money and Culture conference, University College, Cork, Ireland, May 6-8, 2005.
  • “Karel Lamač and Concepts of German National Cinema,” graduate student conference, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, April 3, 2004.
  • “Czech Transgressions: Karel Lamač and German Cinema,” Fifth Czech Workshop, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 26-28, 2004.
  • “The Terrain of Weimar Cinema,” public lecture, co-presented with Prof. Eric Ames, Prints and Drawings of the Weimar Republic Symposium, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., June 11, 2001.
  • Participation in research project Estetická dimenze vizualizace kultury (The aesthetic dimension of visual culture), Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (Projekt GA ČR 408/07/0909), 2009-2010.
  • Visegrad University Studies Grant, for preparation of the course “Visegrad: Points of Contact from the New Waves to the Present,” Dept. of Film Studies, Charles University, and the subsequent publication of the presentations, 2009-2010.
  • International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Berlin and Prague, 2005.
  • Chester Fritz Grant for International Study and Exchange, Graduate School, University of Washington, Prague, fall 2004.
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS), Russian, East European and Central Asian Center (REECAS) and International Studies Center, University of Washington, Prague and České Budějovice, 2002-2003, summer 2002, summer 2001.
  • Max Kade Fellowship, Dept. of Germanics, University of Washington, 2000-2001.
  • Teaching Assistantship, Fulbright Program, Leipzig, 1999-2000.
  • Max Kade Fellowship, Institute for Germanic Studies, Indiana University, 1997-1998.
  • Research grant, Hutton Honors College, Indiana University, 1994-1995.