2019 Wirtz Visiting Artist

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.

2019 Pepper Lecture

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.

Innovations in Autism Research

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.

2019 Hoffman Visiting Artist

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.

Professor’s New Book is Honored

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.

Redressing a Troubled History

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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.

CAREER Award Winner

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.

Teamwork on Mars

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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.

Chuck Whitney Obituary

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.

The Blackout Shines Bright

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.

New Wirtz Managing Director

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.

MFA Reading Series

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.


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