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Dr. Deryl Johnson

Deryl JohnsonStorytelling is a way of perserving cultures while celebrating their similarities and differences.  Storytelling binds us all together - while each of our stories are unique, there are certain themes that run through all cultures and is part of what makes us human.

Dr. Deryl B. Johnson is a professor, storyteller, performer and playwright.  His career at KU began in 1993.  Since that time he has taught a variety of courses including:

  • COM 010 Fundamentals of Oral Communication
  • COM 051 Voice & Diction
  • COM 120 Oral Interpretation
  • COM 201 Storytelling
  • COM/MUS 217 Music and the Spoken Word
  • COM 220 Group Performance
  • COM 225 Advanced Solo Performance
  • COM 271 Sexualities and Communication in Everyday Life
  • COM 327 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • COM 380 Communication Studies Capstone Experiences

Johnson is author of books, plays, articles, and featured in several documentaries and television shows about Centralia, PA.  His scholarship ranges from the oral history of the Imperial Court System, the second largest LGBT organization in the world, to the oral history/stories of Centralia, the Pennsylvania town consumed by an underground mine fire, as well as the life and times of celebrated POP Culture artist and Kutztown native - Keith Haring.

Johnson received a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, a M.A. in Communication from the University of Memphis, and a B.F.A in Speech Communication from Drake University.

While at KU, Dr. Johnson helped created several Diversity Festivals, created and served as the founding director of the GLBTQ Resource Center, the student group PERFORUM:  KU's Readers Theatre, and served as President of the University Senate (2011-2015).  Recently, Johnson gave the 2014 winter commencement address at KU 

Statewide, Johnson has served as Co-Chair of the Chancellor's Council for Social Equity, Campus Climate and Inclusion and currently co-chairs the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Educations' Student Success Network.

Currently, Johnson founded CAPS@KU (Culture, Arts, and Performance Studies).  This all KU organization uses performance to explore the intersections of the arts and culture.  The inaugural project, (HELLO my name is....) featured a performance of student memoirs on living with disabilities.

Off-campus you might see Deryl Johnson in Allentown, New Hope, Philadelphia or New York as both an actor and cabaret performer.

Important Links:

To Contact:
Dr. Deryl Johnson
Dept. of Communication Studies,
Kutztown University,
Kutztown, PA 19530
(610) 683-4251

Use the following link to make an appointment with Dr. Johnson -