Dr. Ron Johnson specializes in early US history, with particular interest in diplomacy, religion, and cross-cultural relations. His first book, Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (forthcoming January 2014) examines how white Americans and people of color of revolutionary Saint-Domingue pioneered cross-cultural diplomatic relations in the late 18th century. This alliance helped to secure Louisiana for the United States and to establish the independent nation of Haiti.
His research and teaching are informed by his previous work for the U.S. government and in Christian ministry. He served as a Foreign Service Officer of the U.S. Department of State in Luxembourg and Gabon and as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. An East Texas native, his Christian ministry included pastoral leadership for interdenominational, cross-cultural, and African-American churches in Texas, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Indiana, and Germany. He served as an enlisted airman in the Air Force chaplaincy in Texas, Greece, and Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.
Dr. Johnson teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate students across the College of Liberal Arts. His instruction has received the Foundations of Excellence Award from the Student Foundation and the International Studies Professor of the Year Award from the Center for International Studies. He is a member of the International Studies Board of Advisors and an alumnus of the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. His wife and he sponsor the Ronald and Colette Johnson Foreign Affairs Scholarship to encourage students to seek careers in international relations.
Dr. Johnson’s present research monograph-length project examines the collective and diverse natures of people of color within the Black Atlantic world during the early nineteenth century. With assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he seeks to use American port cities, like Savannah, Philadelphia, New York, and Charleston, to serve as a lens into the roles played by African and white American churches in providing and/or preventing assimilation into American society by immigrants of color from the Caribbean.
Ph.D. - Purdue University
M.Div. – Boston University School of Theology
M.A. - Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
B.A.I.S. - Texas State University
|Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (Athens: University of Georgia Press, January 2014) |
The first book on the Adams-Louverture alliance.
From 1798 to 1801, during the Haitian Revolution, President John Adams and Toussaint Louverture forged diplomatic relations between white Americans and people of color in Saint-Domingue. The United States supported the Dominguan revolutionaries with economic assistance and arms; the conflict was also the U.S. Navy’s first military action on behalf of a foreign ally. This cross-cultural cooperation was of immense and strategic importance as it helped to bring forth a new nation: Haiti.
|“A Revolutionary Dinner: U.S. Diplomacy toward Saint-Domingue, 1798-1801” |
At a secret dinner in eighteenth-century Philadelphia, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering forged an alliance with Saint-Domingue, the United States' first diplomatic relationship with a black-led government. At the cessation of Dominguan-American relations, following Adams's electoral defeat, the revolutionary colony stood on the threshold of nationhood. For its part, the United States moved a step closer toward its aspirations to reshape the Atlantic world.
|“The Peculiar Ventures of Particular Baptist Pastor William Kiffin and King Charles II of England” |
The article discusses the relations and business ventures between Particular Baptist pastor and merchant William Kiffin and King Charles II during the Restoration period in England in the 17th-century. It explains the reasons why the pastor earned the king's favor and the friendship of his royal councilors during a time when there was persecution against Baptists. Challenging previous historical literature, Johnson argues that the religious tolerance of Kiffin—and not his commercial career—was the primary factor for his peculiar ventures with the king.
The Organization of American Historians
Society for Hisotrians of American Foreign Relations
Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
Baptist History and Heritage Society
National Baptist Convention
Association of Carribean Historians
American Baptist Churches USA
Sigma Iota Rho
History 1310: History of the United States to 1877
A general survey of the history of the United States from its settlement to the end of Reconstruction.
History 3368: U.S. Foreign Relations, From Revolution to Reconstruction
This course in diplomatic history explores the philosophical, social, and legal aspects of the diplomatic relations of the United States, and development of the leading principles of foreign policy in the early American republic. These studies are then set within the context of analysis via several geo-political models.
International Studies 4380: Senior Seminar
This course is required for students seeking teacher certification in History. This course is an introductory methods course designed to familiarize students with general historical practice and its application in secondary teaching. Prerequisite: Departmental approval required. Students should seek this approval well in advance of registration.
History 4388: Modern U.S. Foreign Policy
History 5346: African-American History
This course is an intensive readings and research seminar in African American History. Through the uses of lectures, biographies, institutional histories and community studies, students will be introduced to the different interpretive themes and methodologies that have created the myriad of historical interpretations and reinterpretations of African American History.
History 5390: Religion in the United States, 1620-1745
History 5390: Religion and the U.S. Revolution, 1763-1843
History 5390: History of the Atlantic World, 1620-1830
History 5395G: Early American Diplomacy, 1765-1865
This course explores the philosophical, social historical, and legal aspects of the diplomatic relations of the United States, and the development of the leading principles of foreign policy in the early American republic within a comparative, Atlantic world framework.