Heather Hendershot is a visiting professor in Communication Studies at Northwestern University. She studies TV news, conservative media, political movements, and American film and television history. Her courses emphasize the interplay between creative, political, technical, and regulatory concerns, and how those concerns affect what we see on the screen (big or little). In the winter 2024 quarter at Northwestern she will teach a doctoral elective seminar entitled “Media and American Politics.”
Her most recent book, When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America, received an award from the Pattis Family Foundation/Newberry Library, was praised in the New York Review of Books, and in February 2023 was chosen as a “Best Book” by the New Yorker. Earlier books include Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line (2016) and What’s Fair on the Air? Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest (2011). She began her career with a research focus on children’s television and conservative evangelical media.
Although most of her publications center on broadcast media, Hendershot is also an expert on Hollywood cinema of the 1950s–70s and has published on films ranging from Dog Day Afternoon to the Creature from the Black Lagoon trilogy. Her essay on the films of Roger Corman is forthcoming, and she is currently working on a short monograph on Nashville.
Prof. Hendershot has held fellowships at Princeton University, the Nieman Foundation and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (both at Harvard), New York University, Stanford University, and Vassar College. She has also been a Guggenheim fellow, and for five years she was editor of Cinema Journal (now JCMS), the official publication of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
EducationPhD, English (Film Program), University of Rochester
MA, English (Film Program), University of Rochester
BA, French and Film Studies, Yale University
- When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America (University of Chicago Press, 2022); Audiobook (unabridged), Tantor Media, 2023
- Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line (HarperCollins, 2016); Audiobook (unabridged), Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2016
- What’s Fair on the Air? Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
- Shaking the World for Jesus: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2004); Turkish translation: Salyangoz Publishing, 2006
- Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America’s Only TV Channel for Kids (edited collection, New York University Press, 2004)
- Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, 2019–2020
- Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow, Nieman Foundation, Harvard University, July 2019
- Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellow, Harvard University, 2014–2015
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 2009–2010
- Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies, American Studies Program/History Dept., Princeton University, fall 2007
- Senior Research Scholar, Center for Religion and Media, New York University, 2004–2005
- Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University, 2000–2001
- Henry Luce Postdoctoral Fellow in Cinema, Literacy, and Culture, Vassar College, 1995–1996