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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.