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Northwestern Theatre and Performance Studies Recognized for Excellence

Northwestern dominated among winners at the American Society for Theatre Research’s 2017 awards luncheon November 18 in Atlanta. Faculty and alumni representing the Departments of Theatre and Performance Studies took home a variety of awards, making Northwestern the most-decorated university at the annual event.

“Northwestern University has brought together one of the most impressive and diverse cohorts of scholars devoted to performance studies and theatre studies,” says Ramón Rivera-Servera, associate professor and chair of the Department of Performance Studies. “The scholarship that our faculty, current students, and alumni produce has significantly expanded what we understand as the theatre and performance cannons, especially as it pertains communities historically left out of mainstream theatrical pursuits.”

Northwestern’s 2017 ASTR award winners are:

  • Sandra L. Richards, professor-in-residence in the departments of African American studies and theatre and the director of the liberal arts program at NU-Q, received the Distinguished Scholar Award, an honor bestowed on a researcher whose work has made a significant contribution to theatre, dance, opera, and/or performance studies. Her “research and teaching has taught our field how to see and, in so doing, has opened our collective eyes to the artistry and sophistication of a generation of theatre makers (and their audiences) who had previously been underappreciated and overlooked,” said Department of Theatre Chair Harvey Young at the ceremony while presenting Richards the award.
  • Liz Son, assistant professor of Theatre, received an honorable mention for the Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize for her article “Korean Trojan Women: Performing Wartime Sexual Violence,” which was published in Asian Theatre Journal 33.2 (Fall 2016): 369-394. This award honors the best essay written (in English) in a refereed scholarly journal. 
  • Renee Alexander Craft (PhD ’06 Performance Studies) received the Errol Hill Award in African American Theatre and Performance Studies. This recognizes outstanding scholarship as demonstrated in a book-length project (either monograph or essay collection) or scholarly article.
  • T. Carlis Roberts (PhD ’09 Performance Studies) received the Honorable Mention for the Errol Hill Award in African American Theatre and Performance Studies. 
  • Kareem Khubchandani (Phd ’14 Performance Studies), Kemi Adeyemi (Phd ‘16 Performance Studies), and Ramon Rivera-Servera, received the José E. Muñoz Working Group Award. 

“Northwestern is internationally recognized as the place to study theatre and performance,” said Young following the ceremony. “The honoring of Sandra Richards (and the previous recognition of theatre professor Tracy Davis) with ASTR’s Distinguished Scholar Award is a testament to the excellence of our faculty. The honor received by Liz Son as well as our current and former graduate students suggests that the future is bright for Northwestern theatre and performance studies.”

The American Society for Theatre Research, founded in 1956, is a professional organization for scholars and researchers in theatre, performance studies, and related fields.