Thomas M. Cooley Papers  1850-1898
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Contents List

Container / Location Title
 
Biographical Information [series]:

The Biographical Information series (.4 linear feet) documents the period from 1942 to 2002. Included in this series are photographs from Johnson's early years in Africa, images taken while he studied at Oberlin, and pictures of him and his family, including his granddaughter. There are also records documenting his study at Sierra Leone Grammar School, Oberlin College, and the University of Michigan, including the August 1969 commencement program and the program awarding his faculty recognition award in 1984.

Box   1  
Awards, Faculty Recognition includes Nomination Packet and Program,  1984
Box   1  
Campus Events,  1976-1977 and undated, featuring Johnson
Box   1  
Clippings,  1968-2002 and  undated (3 folders)
Box   1  
Curriculum Vita,  1988-1999 and  undated
Box   1  
Invitations,  1965-1986
Box   1  
Master's Thesis Outline,  undated
Box   1  
Miscellanea,  undated
 
Oberlin College
Box   1  
Alumni News,  1986 and  1990
Box   1  
Photographs,  undated
Box   1  
Reviews and articles about Johnson as a student and alumnus,  1960-1969
Box   1  
Student Papers,  1964 and  undated
Box   1  
Photographs ca.1942-2001
Box   1  
Poster Announcing Memorial Symposium,  2004
Box   1  
Scrapbook,  1980-1986
 
Sierra Leone
Box   1  
Fourah Bay College,  1980
Box   1  
Freetown Drama Workshop,  1982 and  undated
 
Grammar School
Box   1  
Alumni Directory,  1996
Box   1  
Certificates,  1958-1960
 
University of Michigan
Box   1  
Commencement Program,  1969
Box   1  
Exchange Visitor Status,  1971
 
Conferences and Lectures [series]:

The Conferences and Lectures series (.4 linear feet) covers the period from 1971 to 2000. This series includes programs or advertisements for the conferences Johnson attended and, occasionally, his notes or the paper he presented at the conference. The Africa 1995, the Salzburg Seminar, and the World Shakespeare Congress include greater documentation such as photographs, travel and visa arrangements, and correspondence. Johnson was asked to deliver several prestigious lectures throughout the country. Documentation for these lectures frequently includes just a flyer or a program describing the presentation and the occasion. In some cases, however, there are notes or brief outlines of his presentation.

 
Conferences
Box   1  
Africa  1995,  1994-1995
Box   1  
African Culture Festival,  1979
Box   1  
African Literature Association,  1982
Box   1  
African Music Forum, Revitalizing American Music Studies in Higher Education, 2000
Box   1  
African Students Association (University of Windsor), The Moral Vision of African Political Elites,  1977
Box   1  
African Students Association (University of Michigan), Symposium on the Role of African Student Organization on the Development of the Socio-Political Economy of the African Continent,  1978
Box   1  
Association of Caribbean Studies,  1980-1985
Box   1  
Center for Coordination of Ancient and Modern Studies, Oral Literature and the Formula,  1974
Box   1  
College Language Association,  1993
Box   1  
Commonwealth Francophone Symposium,  1977
Box   1  
Conference on the Unity of the Sciences,  1983
Box   1  
Emerging Issues in Cultural Relations in an Interdependent World,  1976-1978
Box   1  
Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Semana: Africa y Latina America Hoy,  1987
Box   1  
Florida International University, Conference on Black Culture and Ethnicity,  1987
Box   1  
Friends of Sierra Leone,  1998
Box   1  
League of Arab States, Afro-Arab Relations in the 1980s ,  1979
Box   1  
Medgar Evers College, Symposium on Afro-Hispanic Literature,  1978
Box   1  
Museo Nacional de las Culturas and Asociacion Latinoamericana de Estudios de Asia y Africa, Las Grandes Obras de las Grandes Culturas,  1990
Box   1  
National Council for Black Studies, Maximizing the Interdisciplinary Approach: New Horizons in Curriculum Development,  1976
Box   1  
Pan-African Liaison Committee (P.A.L.C.), Pan-Africanism: The Intervention of Foreign Elements into the Black World,  1979
Box   1  
Saltzburg Seminar, Contemporary American Literature, (includes photographs),  1981-1983 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Sierra Leone Association for the Promotion of African Culture, Week-End Seminar,  1971-1972
Box   1  
University of Jos, Nigeria, Pan-African Conference on Human Rights and Africa's Triple Heritage,  1986
Box   1  
University of Queensland, Conference on Black Literatures,  1984-1988
Box   1  
World Shakespeare Congress, Shakespeare and Cultural Traditions, includes paper presented by Johnson,  1991 (2 folders)
 
Lectures
Box   1  
Africa Link, program,  1987
Box   1  
Charles Eaton Burch Memorial Lectures, Howard University, From Caliban to Friday: A Perspective on 18th Century Literature, program,  1982
Box   1  
Josaphat Kubayanda Memorial Lecture, Ohio State University, Native Bodies & Missionary Positions (To Cut or Not to Cut), notes and program,  1999
Box   1  
Visiting Professorship, University of Florida, Sexual Imagery and Its Import in Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman, notes,  2000-2001
Box   1  
University of Michigan Institute for the HumanitiesRoundtable Discussion with Athol Fugard, flyer,  2000
Box   1  
University of New Hampshire, Pluralism or the End of History, posters,  undated
Box   1  
Yale University Council on African Studies, Teaching of African Literatures in the United States, flyer,  1988
 
Correspondence [series]:

The Correspondence series (1.3 linear feet) dates from 1960 to 2002. Arranged chronologically, the general correspondence includes letters between Johnson and his University of Michigan colleagues and former and current students, as well as colleagues throughout the world. This series also includes family correspondence from his wife and children while he was visiting in Sierra Leone in 1980, correspondence with his sister and brother-in-law regarding an upcoming visit, and other family members regarding family issues and their poetry. In 1995 an email group called Leonenet was formed for Sierra Leone ex-patriots to stay in touch with each other and discuss issues affecting their homeland. Johnson printed out many of the threads of this electronic correspondence. They are arranged chronologically. Also found here are email printouts of Johnson's Africa Book Talk where he discusses African authors such as Athol Fugard and Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka; African themes such as Apartheid, the Garden of Eden, and Shakespeare; and issues that Johnson was exploring in his own work, such as African erotica and universal themes such as feminism and oppression. Researchers might consult GEFAME, an on-line scholarly journal promoting communication in the field of African Studies. Volume 1, no. 1 is dedicated to Johnson and his work. The url is http://www.hti.umich.edu/g/gefame/

 
General
Box   1  
 undated
Box   1  
 1961-1976 (9 folders)
Box   2  
 1977-2001 (23 folders)
Box   2  
Family,  1980-2001
Box   2  
Immigration,  1972-1973
 
Leonenet (printouts of e-mail correspondence with other Sierra Leoneans discussing issues of interest regarding their homeland and Africa)
Box   2  
General E-Mail Correspondence,  1995-2002 (3 folders)
Box   3  
Africa Book Talk,  undated (2 folders)
Box   3  
Lumpen Youth Culture and Political Violence: Sierra Leoneans Debate the RUF and the Civil War,  1997
 
University of Michigan [series]:

The University of Michigan series (.6 linear feet) is divided into three subseries reflecting Johnson's teaching and involvement at the university. The Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (1972-1998) includes announcements, correspondence dating from 1974 to 1991, and a Ford Foundation grant report. The publications of the center in this collection include articles written by Johnson on the topic of black literature in the Americas. The Department of English Language and Literature (1978-2001) contains syllabi and notes for courses taught by Johnson for the years 1991 through 2001 with several undated. Researchers will also find records from other University of Michigan units including the Royal Shakespeare Company Residence Committee (2000-2001) and the Scientific Club (1990-1999).

 
Center for Afroamerican and African Studies [subseries]:
Box   3  
Announcements,  1972-1998
Box   3  
Correspondence,  1974-1991
Box   3  
Faculty Meeting Agendas,  1988
Box   3  
Ford Foundation Grant Report,  1988/89
Box   3  
Publications,  1987-1991
 
Department of English Language and Literature [subseries]:
Box   3  
Course Catalogs, Graduate Programs,  1979
 
Courses
Box   3  
English 140, An Introduction to Comparative Literature,  1998 and  undated
Box   3  
English 217, Introduction to the Literature of the Americas: A Comparative Approach,  2001
Box   3  
English 239, What is Literature,  1998-2001
 
English 417
Box   3  
African Literatures in European Languages,  undated
Box   3  
Literature in Africa, Literature in the Americas,  2001
Box   3  
Miscellaneous Titles,  2000 and  undated
Box   3  
English 526, The Invention of the Americas,  1991
Box   3  
Executive Committee Minutes,  1978,  1982 and  1998
 
Hayden, Robert
Box   3  
Conference,  1990
Box   3  
Memorial Service,  1980
Box   3  
Hopwood Award Evaluations,  undated
 
Other University of Michigan Organizations
Box   3  
Department of Romance Languages, Program forEl Concierto De San Ovidio,  1968
Box   3  
Michigan African Studies Initiative,  1999
Box   3  
Rackham Grant,  1983
Box   3  
Renaissance High Project,  1981
Box   3  
Royal Shakespeare Company Residence Committee,  2000-2001
Box   3  
Scientific Club,  1990-1999
 
Writings, Related to [series]:

The Writings, Materials Related to series (.5 linear feet) includes book contracts for The Devil, the Gargoyle, and the Buffoon in 1970 and the Sierra Leone Trilogy dated 1994. Researchers will also find twelve folders of miscellaneous notes (undated, 1980, and 2000) by Johnson relating to his various works of poetry and literary criticism. Because they could not be attributed to a particular work by the processor, they were placed in this series. Reviews of his work will be found in this series under the title of the work critiqued. There are also two vinyl disk 33 1/3 rpm recordings relating to Johnson's work produced by Radio Canada International.

Box   3  
Contracts,  1970 and  1994
 
Notes (Miscellaneous)
Box   3  
undated, (10 folders)
Box   3  
 1980
Box   3  
 2000
Box   3  
Outline, The African Culture: Essays and Studies,  undated
 
Recordings (vinyl disks)
Box   4  
The Book of Corporal Bundu (33 1/3 rpm),  undated
Box   4  
What is African Literature? (33 1/3 rpm),  undated
 
Reviews of Johnson's Work
Box   4  
Carnival of the Old Coast,  1994 and  undated
Box   4  
The Devil, the Gargoyle, and the Buffoon,  1992
Box   4  
Hand on the Navel,  1978 and  undated
Box   4  
Highlife for Caliban,  1974-1976 and  undated
Box   4  
Shakespeare in Africa,  1998 and  undated
Box   4  
Sierra Leone Trilogy,  undated
Box   4  
Student Papers discussingHighlife for Caliban,  1974
Box   4  
Symbols,  1991 and  undated
 
Writings [series]:

The Writings series (2.9 linear feet) is broken down into seven subseries: articles, criticism, opinion pieces, poetry, reviews, short stories, and translations.

The criticism subseries (1.4 linear feet) contains the manuscripts of and notes for criticism written by Johnson and documents his wide range of interests. His dissertation on comparative literature and the imagery of blackness is included in the undated manuscripts of The Devil, the Gargoyle, and the Buffoon: Western Literature and the Idea of Blackness in Human Form. There are multiple discussions of Shakespeare's influence in Africa and Africa's influence on Shakespeare. Johnson studied American culture in his outline and manuscript of American Culture, or the Trouble with Babo's Head. His most recent work was on African eroticism, including several drafts of (en)Countering Traditions of the Erotic in African Narratives; Genesis and Genitalia; and Genesis and Genitalia: African Literature and Narratives of the Sexual. There are also several drafts of works dealing with the issue of homosexuality in Africa entitled Native Bodies: (dis)Counting Sex, (en)Countering Homosexuality (undated), No Sweetness Here?: (dis)Counting Homosexuality (1998), and Mahmud Bilateral, or (en)Countering Homosexuality (2001 and undated). He also worked on an examination of nationalist literature from Africa and China in Hottentots, Coolies, and Messiahs: Nationalism and the Response in Literature (The Chinese Experience 1890-1945, and The African Experience 1945-1970). The collection contains only his notes on this subject.

The poetry subseries (1.3 linear feet) includes the identified notes for and drafts of all three volumes of Johnson's major work the Sierra Leone Trilogy, as well as the introduction. There are also several individual poems in this series. [For Marian] was written to his wife shortly before his death.

The articles subseries is two folders of newspaper articles, written for the Sierra Leone Daily Mail in 1971, criticizing the colonial legacy left by the British government and the social and political systems established by the Sierra Leone government. The opinion piece contains an article written for the Michigan Daily Weekend discussing institutional racism at the University of Michigan. The reviews subseries contains two folders of reviews of black and African literature written by Johnson from 1981 to 1985. Included is his review of Elliot H. Tokson's book The Popular Image of the Black Man in English Drama, 1550-1688. The short stories subseries contains six folders of short works of fiction written while he was a student at the University of Michigan. Most are in manuscript form, but the Father Northway stories are in the student literary journal Generation. There are two folders of the manuscript version of Lemuel Johnson's translations of the Spanish plays Nighttime and War in the Prado Museum and The People's Dreamer found in the translations subseries.

 
Articles [subseries]:
Box   4  
The Pursuit of Excellence,  1971
Box   4  
Purveyors of Mediocrity and Caricature,  1971
 
Criticism [subseries]:
Box   4  
A-beng: (re)Calling the Body In(To) Question,  undated
Box   4  
Aksident Store, All Part Availebul,  undated
Box   4  
American Culture, or the Trouble with Babo's Head,  undated
Box   4  
"Amo y espero": The Love Lyric, Virginia Brindis de Salas, and the African-American Experience of the New World,  1984
Box   4  
The Art and the Ambiguity of Presence in Literatures of the Black Americas,  1987
Box   4  
Being Foreign, Being Made Foreign: A Rapunzel Effect, 1990
Box   4  
Cross and Consciousness: The Failure of Orthodoxy in African and Afro-Hispanic Literature,  1979
 
The Devil, the Gargoyle, and the Buffoon: Western Literature and the Idea of Blackness in Human Form
Box   4  
Manuscript,  undated
Box   4  
Galley,  undated
Box   4  
The Displays of Genesis,  October 27, 2000
Box   4  
A Double Overture,  December 1, 2000
 
(en)Countering Traditions of the Erotic in African Narratives
Box   4  
 May 16, 2001
Box   4  
 July 18, 2001
Box   4  
 undated (2 folders)
Box   4  
A Genealogy of Violence in Aborigine Literature,  undated
 
Genesis and Genitalia
Box   4  
 2001
Box   4  
 undated
Box   4  
Genesis and Genitalia: African Literature and Narratives of the Sexual,  undated
Box   4  
The Griot is Dead, Long Live the Griot,  1982
Box   4  
History and Dystopia in Alejo Carpentier and Wole Soyinka,  1977
Box   4  
Hottentots, Coolies, and Messiahs: Nationalism and the Response in Literature (The Chinese Experience 1890-1945 The African Experience 1945-1970) [Notes only],  undated
Box   4  
How to Breathe Dead Hippo Meat, and Live,  1994
Box   4  
The Humanities and the Criterion of Relevance,  1983
Box   4  
The Inventions of Paradise: The Caribbean and the Utopian Bent,  1991-1994
Box   5  
Mahmud Bilateral, or (en)Countering Homosexuality
Box   5  
 March 18, 2001
Box   5  
 undated
Box   5  
The Middle Passage in African Literature,  undated
 
The (mis)Use of Created Bodies?
Box   5  
 May 13, 2001
Box   5  
 undated
Box   5  
Native Bodies: (dis)Counting Sex, (en)Countering Homosexuality,  undated
Box   5  
No Sweetness Here?: (dis)Counting Homosexuality,  1998
Box   5  
Overtures from a Circling Song,  October 12, 2000
Box   5  
The Problem with English Literature,  undated
Box   5  
Safaris in the Bush of Ghosts: Camara Laye, Saul Bellow, and Ayi Kwei Armah,  1984
Box   5  
Shakespeare in Africa and Essays in the Evidence of Import,  undated
Box   5  
Shakespearean Imports: Whatever Happened to Caliban's Mother? Or, The Problem with Othello's,  1996
Box   5  
Shoeing the Mule: "Caliban" as Genderized Response,  1983
Box   5  
Sisters of Anarchia,  undated
Box   5  
Strong Breeds: Wole Soyinka and the Head of the Head of State in "A Play of Giants",  undated
Box   5  
The Unreturnable--Heaven's Town: Caribbean Literature and the Utopian Bent, (title page and verso),  undated
Box   5  
Was Shakespeare at Actium and Philippi? Mebi, or mebi no mebi,  undated
Box   5  
Untitled,  undated
 
Opinion Pieces [subseries]:
Box   5  
First Principles, or How Topsy "Jes Grew," Maybe,  1988
 
Poetry [subseries]:
Box   5  
Before the Facts,  undated
 
Carnival of the Old Coast, includes notes
Box   5  
 1984
Box   5  
 1994
Box   5  
 undated (2 folders)
Box   6  
[For Marian],  2002
 
Hand on the Navel, includes notes
Box   6  
 1973 and  undated
Box   6  
 1978
Box   6  
 1994
Box   6  
 undated (2 folders)
Box   6  
Highlife for Caliban, Includes Notes,  undated (4 folders)
Box   6  
Pompeii,  1995
Box   6  
Sierra Leone Trilogy Introduction,  1985 and  undated
Box   6  
That Was in Another Country, Besides,  1996
Box   6  
(Un)Settling Texts,  1991
Box   6  
Unidentified Poems,  undated
 
Reviews [subseries]:
Box   6  
By Johnson,  1981-1985 and  undated (2 folders)
 
Short Stories [subseries]:
Box   6  
Amy's Case,  1966
Box   6  
Father Northway, in Generation 1966 and  1975
Box   6  
First Glimpses,  1966
Box   6  
Just an Expression,  1965
Box   6  
Melon Flowers,  1969
Box   6  
The Voice of the Turtle (short stories from),  undated
 
Translations [subseries]:
Box   6  
Nighttime and War in the Prado Museum (An Etching, in a Prologue and One Act), Translated from theSpanish Noche DeGuerra en el Museo del Prado,  1966
Box   6  
The People's Dreamer, Translated from Un Sonador Para Un Pueblo by Antonio Buero Vallejo,  undated