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Northwestern School of Communication

Neil Verma

Assistant Professor; Associate Director, Master of Arts in Sound Arts and Industries
Annie May Swift Hall
1920 Campus Drive
Room 316
Evanston, IL 60208
My current research focuses on the history and form of narrative podcasting, and my artistic work explores forms of drama and storytelling that are rooted in extended field recording technique.

Area(s) of Expertise

Cinema-Film, Podcasts, Radio, Sound Cultures, Sound Design
Neil Verma

Neil Verma is assistant professor in Radio/TV/Film and co-founder of the MA program in Sound Arts and Industries. Verma is an expert in the history of audio fiction, sound studies, and media history more broadly. He is best known for his landmark 2012 book, Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama, which won the Best First Book Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. His most recent book is Narrative Podcasting in an Age of Obsession, published in 2024 by the University of Michigan Press. He has also co-edited two books, Indian Sound Cultures, Indian Sound Citizenship (2020), and Anatomy of Sound: Norman Corwin and Media Authorship (2016), the latter of which won the Kraszna-Krausz Best Moving Image Book Award. Verma has been a consultant for a variety of radio and film projects, including Martin Scorsese’s film Killers of the Flower Moon (2023). In addition to his research, Verma has also created experimental sound recordings for broadcast. His compositions have been selected for several radio art festivals around the world, winning an honorable mention from the Sound of the Year awards in the U.K. in 2020. He is currently co-editing the first volume of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Sound Studies, as well as developing a digital audio project tentatively titled Weirdvoice. Verma founded the Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies and serves on the Radio Preservation Task Force at the Library of Congress. He is former Editor of the RadioDoc Review and a former Board Member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.


  • PhD University of Chicago
  • BA McGill University

Honors and Awards

  • Harper-Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago (2010-14)
  • Best First Book Award, Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2013)
  • Kraszna-Krausz Foundation (U.K) Best Moving Image Book Award (2016)
  • Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2017)
  • Sound of the Year Award, Honorable Mention, Museum of Sound / New BBC Radiophonic Workshop (2020)
  • Elected to the Board of SCMS (2021)


  • Introduction to Sound Studies
  • Foundations of Screen Cultures
  • Unethical Media
  • Ear Windows
  • Audio Drama
  • Blackness, Sound and Media