News

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Playwright, performer, and director Daniel Alexander Jones, known for his critically acclaimed performance pieces including Black Light, Duat, An Integrator’s Manual, and Radiate, visited classrooms and spoke to students May 15 as the School of Communication’s 2019 Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Visiting Artist.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How can more children with language delays access early treatment and improved outcomes? If diagnostic tests are made widely available and parents take a more hands-on role with therapy, they can and will, says Megan Roberts, the Jane Steiner Hoffman and Michael Hoffman Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, who gave the 2019 Pepper Lecture in the Frances Searle Building on May 8.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

School of Communication faculty Molly Losh, Elizabeth Norton, and Megan Roberts hosted last week “Understanding the Autism Spectrum: Clinical, Biological, and Cultural perspectives,” an innovative conference to disseminate and discuss the latest findings and considerations in the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The event served as the fifth annual CSDConnect conference and the Lambert Family Communication Conference.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Acclaimed director and the 2019 Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media, Yance Ford, screened his Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated documentary, Strong Island, in Annie Mae Swift Hall April 11. Strong Island, a Netflix documentary, focuses on the murder of Ford’s older brother on Long Island in 1992, the grand jury’s refusal to indict the white man who shot him, and the tragic repercussions for Ford’s family.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Black. Queer. Southern. Women.: An Oral History by E. Patrick Johnson was recently named a finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and a Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. Earlier this year it was recognized as a 2019 Stonewall Book Award—Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Honor Book.

Friday, March 8, 2019
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For the last decade, associate professor of theatre Elizabeth Son has researched the so-called “comfort women”: the estimated 200,000 women from Japan, Korea and elsewhere who were coerced or kidnapped into sex slavery for the Japanese military between 1932 and 1945. Northwestern profiled Son and her work in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Communication Studies assistant professor Nick Diakopoulos was awarded a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (or CAREER) Award, making him the seventh faculty in the department to receive this honor. Diakopoulos is a foremost researcher of computational and data journalism, with a focus on the human-centered use of algorithms, automation, and artificial intelligence in news production and consumption.

Monday, February 18, 2019
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School of Communication professors Leslie DeChurch and Noshir Contractor are collaborating on four NASA-funded studies of the social science behind deep-space exploration. Their predictive models based on the observation analog crews in isolation have identified weak spots for a future Mars team.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Chuck Whitney, emeritus professor of Communication Studies and the School of Communication’s former associate dean for faculty and graduate affairs, died February 9 at age 72.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Student-run late-night-format comedy group, the Blackout, has been nominated for a College Television Award, an honor that is bestowed by the same enterprise that produces the Emmy Awards. The Blackout is being recognized for its “2018 Spring Quarter Update” segment, its first nomination.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The School of Communication and the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts welcome Al Heartley as the center’s new managing director. Heartley comes to Northwestern from the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut where he served as director of development.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Staged readings of new work can be pivotal to writers. One can see a story play out from the eyes of the audience, gauge the authenticity of relationships and characters, and see if jokes land. A new series of staged readings aims to give MFA candidates in the Writing for Screen and Stage program the opportunity for this reflection and growth—and for audiences to have a glimpse at the next generation of writing talent.

Monday, December 17, 2018
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Mary Zimmerman, the  Northwestern University Jaharis Family Foundation Chair in Performance Studies and School of Communication alumna, helms the world premiere of The Steadfast Tin Soldier at Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company, where she is an ensemble member.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Good news for those worrying about the state of the American arts—it’s not nearly as bad as some say. Though, as Jane Chu, arts advisor for PBS and the former director of the National Endowment for the Arts, can attest, there are always highs and lows, and it’s important to always do the work. Chu discussed this and other functions of a career in the arts during a November talk sponsored by MSLCE.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The enthralling story of a controversial 1923 play’s debut is dominated by Northwestern University alumni and faculty working in and on this critically acclaimed production. They followed their October 11 performance with a special Q&A with audience members.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Northwestern neuroscientist joined music legends in an exploration of music and the mind.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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With Open TV, Aymar Jean Christian examines digital media’s disruptive impact on traditional Hollywood television.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The School of Communication welcomes an exciting crop of new faculty for the 2018-19 academic year, including an accomplished writer-researcher, an alumna and assistant dean, a stage director and movement specialist, an acclaimed screenwriter, and an expert in strategic health messaging. The new faculty represents growth and expertise in emerging fields. Read on for a glimpse into six of our new faces.

Friday, September 21, 2018
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New understanding of hearing loss points to earlier intervention, says Sumit Dhar, but getting people to listen is a challenge.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The School of Communication’s Master of Science in Communication program celebrated in September its 35th anniversary while also honoring the founding faculty. The program was among the first of its kind and inspired the creation of additional groundbreaking professional programming with the School. MSC alumni have gone on to become prominent leaders in every industry.

Sunday, September 16, 2018
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Communication Studies professor Pablo Boczkowski visited Northwestern’s campus in Qatar to discuss his new book, Trump and the Media. Topics included the collapse of the traditional media, rise of social media, the president’s love/hate relationship with the press, the influence of technology on storytelling, and more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
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Hollywood producer and School of Communication alumnus Jordan Horowitz, best known for the Oscar-nominated film La La Land, spoke at NU-Q’s annual convocation ceremony in September.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Northwestern University School of Communication Dean Barbara O’Keefe and American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) Director David H. Bell hosted a reception Aug. 3 for the artistic team and students involved in the latest theatrical collaboration by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Northwestern. The collaboration received rave reviews.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Professor Bonnie Martin-Harris, one of the foremost researchers in swallowing disorders, brought her flagship conference to Evanston this month. Dysphagia is a surprisingly common condition that is known little outside of its dedicated research community, but Martin-Harris, though this event and other efforts, is giving it the attention and treatment it so deserves.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Northwestern School of Communication alumni including Stephen Colbert and Megan Mullally, are among the latest crop of nominees.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The School of Communication’s modular curriculum is designed to give undergraduates a comprehensive and experiential pathway to their chosen careers. One module, time and again, stands out for its success with students—theatre management.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The School of Communication on Monday awarded four faculty members its annual Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award and the Clarence Simon Awards for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring. The awards were distributed on June 4 at the yearly Honors Convocation ceremony in Norris University Center.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The School of Communication’s E. Patrick Johnson, who has researched and participated in gospel choirs, explains its central role in making the recent royal wedding a captivating, unifying experience.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The lessons of filmmaker Todd Solondz often hover around the concept of success: how to learn from it, how to capitalize on it, and how to embrace its curious timing. The writer/director/producer of such award-winning films as Welcome to the Dollhouse spoke on campus recently as the 35th Annual Van Zelst Lecturer—and he knew all his lines (read on for context).

Friday, March 2, 2018

The second-annual on-campus showcase of the words of black student artists brought with it more new works, more conversation, and more Northwestern partners. “It’s my favorite event of the year,” said senior theatre major Allie Woodson; and it’s more necessary than ever.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A series of video pieces about an underdog basketball team did more than just raise its profile — it raised Heidi Palarz’s. The School of Communication alumna returned to campus on February 7 to share with students tales of her willingness to work, her embrace of failure, and what it’s like to be the only woman in a male-dominated field.

Thursday, February 8, 2018
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Three members of the Evanston-based Radio/Television/Film faculty will be journeying to Northwestern’s campus in Doha, Qatar to teach a three-part course called Media Performance Technologies, which will focus on live media performance. The faculty — Eric Patrick, Stephan Moore, and Chaz Evans — will have rotating appointments at NU-Q this spring.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Northwestern University Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning is continuing to engage the hearing loss community, now through a series of free seminars. The series, which next begins January 22, covers the technical side of hearing loss as well as strategies that use both technology and better communication with loved ones.

ASTR Award Winners
Friday, December 15, 2017

Faculty, students, and alumni from the School of Communication’s Departments of Theatre and Performance Studies were well represented among the winners at 2017’s American Society for Theatre Research’s annual awards luncheon in Atlanta last month. The recognitions reflect Northwestern’s preeminence among educators in these fields.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

At the holidays, it’s tempting to buy the flashiest toys popping up on retailers’ “hot lists,” but the experts recommend taking a different tack. The clinicians and researchers at the Northwestern University Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning held their second Toys to Talk About event, where they made suggestions of the best sorts of toys for kids across the developmental spectrum.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

He dabbled in theatre and watched a lot of TV; he showed enthusiasm and a willingness to take creative risks. He wrote. And wrote. And wrote. School of Communication alumnus and producing vet of such legendary comedy series as Chappelle’s Show and The Colbert Report shared with students his keys to making it in the world of comedy. Spoiler alert: there’s room for everyone.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Stellaluna, the Wirtz Center’s family theatre production about a fruit bat’s forest adventures, intends to deliver a message beyond what is in the dialogue. Director and MFA candidate Caitlin Lowans set out to create Stellaluna in a sustainable way — using repurposed materials, recycled supplies, and an indefatigable zeal for creative challenges.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Northwestern alumnus and director of animated films John Musker remembers a guest speaker during his undergraduate years that changed the course of his career. Warner Bros’ legend Chuck Jones, addressing students, demonstrated how work as an animator meant a lifetime of continuous learning. Musker took this to heart, and his trajectory has been equally impressive. He shared his story with students on October 19.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Raoul Peck, the Academy Award-nominated director of I Am Not Your Negro, was invited to campus this week as the 2018 Hoffman Visiting Filmmaker in Residence. Peck screened and discussed his film, which profiles the late writer and social critic James Baldwin, at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

John Logan is the rare Hollywood figure to achieve success on multiple artistic fronts. A prolific writer who boasts a diverse body of work, Logan has penned blockbusters and cerebral plays alike. The Class of ’83 alumnus joined us last week and shared with students his take on writing, research, preparedness, and the power of hard work.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the play on which the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight was based, was welcomed as a featured guest last week at the Black Arts International: Temporalities and Territories conference. He spoke to a packed house Friday, following the Thursday evening premiere of his play In the Red and Brown Water at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Last week’s Black Arts International: Temporalities and Territories conference welcomed scholars, artists, performers, researchers and students to examine the black artistic experience through a global lens. The conference’s keynote speaker was Homi Bhabha, the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Center at Harvard University. Read more to learn about his enlightening talk that kicked off the week of events.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Three School of Communication alumni returned to campus last week to celebrate their reunion and share with students their tales from the Great White Way. Heather Headley, Catherine Brunell, and Randy Meyer, all from the class of 1997, talked of touring, auditioning, landing a role, and losing a role, but never losing one’s appreciating of the journey.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Department of Radio/Television/Film associate professors Kyle Henry and J.P. Sniadecki, lecturer Stephen Cone, and MFA Documentary Media alumna Mina Fitzpatrick will each be screening films at the Chicago International Film Festival October 12 through 26. Henry’s film “Rogers Park” will premiere at the festival. Of the four films, two are shot in, and largely about, the city of Chicago.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We welcome this academic year a crop of faculty members that are already bolstering our impressive ranks. Among the new faces are theatrical director Shana Cooper, computational journalism expert Nick Diakopoulos, and Jennifer Novak-Leonard, a leading researcher in the arts and creativity and the public’s participation in that realm.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Northwestern School of Communication alumna Julia Louis-Dreyfus logged a legendary win at the 69th Annual Emmy Awards. Not only did she earn her sixth consecutive Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy win, she is now tied with SoC alumna Cloris Leachman for overall wins by a female performer at eight apiece. The other big winner was hilarious host, alumnus Stephen Colbert, and the other talented alumni featured in the telecast. Read on for more details.

Monday, July 31, 2017
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The School of Communication’s American Music Theatre Project has joined forces with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to produce two original musicals for the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Donald G. Robertson Director in Music Theatre David Bell, alongside Northwestern students and alumni, collaborated with the famed European institution on two thematically linked shows about home, identity, ancestry, and war.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Northwestern School of Communication alumni are well represented among this year’s crop of nominees: notable among them is record-setter Julia Louis-Dreyfus (C83, H07) and Stephen Colbert (C87, H11), who will be hosting this year’s awards show on September 17.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, the School of Communication’s expansive, state-of-the-art theatrical complex, recently underwent a significant renovation that added two large blackbox spaces, dedicated rehearsal and performance rooms, design studios, and much more. The June dedication of the updated Wirtz Center was attended by benefactors including Rocky Wirtz (C75) and his wife Marilyn.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

In the spring of 1944, Northwestern Theatre senior Agnes Nixon received devastating news, but it was what resulted that launched a legendary career. Last week, a group of students alongside her family traveled back in time to produce the script that changed her life — and celebrate a woman who meant so much to the University.

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