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More than 60 Northwestern faculty members from over 20 different departments serve as associate faculty for the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama. IPTD students are encouraged to think about the widest possible range of suitable faculty for coursework, advising, and supervision of research, seeking expertise in their topical area(s), methodology, and theoretical approach.

At the core of the expansive IPTD associate faculty is the Executive Committee, the members of which oversee the admissions process, approve dissertation prospectuses, and support and evaluate student progress.

Executive Committee for 2023-24

Masi Asare Assistant Professor of Theatre
Research and Creative Practice: Musical Theatre, Performance Theory, and African American Performance
Danielle Bainbridge Assistant Professor of Theatre
Research: Black theatre, literature, and culture; Black Feminist Theory; Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Performance; Postcolonial Theory

Jeffrey K. Coleman Associate Professor of Iberian Studies Research: Spanish Theatre, Catalan Theatre, Black European Studies, Afro-Spanish Studies, and Spanish Wine

Tracy C. Davis Ethel M. Barber Professor of Performing Arts; Professor of Theatre and English
Research: Historiography, 19th and 20th century History, Performance Theory, Research Methodology
Susan Manning
Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities; Professor of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies
Research: Dance Studies as an (Inter)discipline; Theatrical Modernism and Avant-garde Performance in a Transnational Context
Dassia Posner
Associate Professor of Theatre and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Research and Creative Practice: History of Directing, Russian Avant-garde Theatre, Dramaturgy, and Puppetry and Material Performance
Elizabeth W. Son
Associate Professor of Theatre; Area Head of Theatre History, Literature, Criticism, Theory
Research: Asian and Asian American Theatre and Performance, Transnational/ Diaspora Studies, Critical Race Studies, Gender Studies, Trauma and Memory

Partial listing of additional associate faculty:

Melissa Blanco Borelli Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies; Director of the Dance Program
Research and Creative Practice: Critical Dance Studies, Popular Dance, Dance on Screen, Black performance in Latin/x America, Performative Writing, and Dance Devising/Choreography

Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson Professor of Performance Studies
Research: Performance Theory, Critical Race Theory, Contemporary Art and Performance, Political Theory, and Queer of Color Critique
Aymar Jean ChristianAssociate Professor of Communication Studies
Research: Black studies, Cinema-Film, Digital Media, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Media production, Queer theory, Social Media, Television

Thomas F. DeFrantz
Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies; Director of SLIPPAGE Lab
Research and Creative Practice: Dance and African American Performance

Ryan Dohoney Associate Professor of Musicology
Research: Historical Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Experimental Music, and Modern Music
Gary Fine
James E. Johnson Professor of Sociology
Research: Sociology of Art, Folklore, Performance Criticism, Qualitative Field Methods
Marcela A. Fuentes Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Studies
Research and Creative Practice : Art Theory and Practice, Digital Media, Feminist theory, Social Activism and Impact, Social Media, Transnational Culture
Nadine George-Graves Department Chair, Performance Studies; Naomi Willie Pollard Professor of Theatre and Performance
Research: African American Studies, Critical Gender Studies, Performance Studies, Theatre History, and Dance History
E. Patrick Johnson
Dean of the School of Communication; Carlos Montezuma Professor of African American Studies and Performance Studies
Research and Creative Practice: Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Queer Performance, and Performance Ethnography
 Mary Pattillo
Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Research: Urban Sociology; Black Middle Class; Race and Policy; Housing; Ethnography
Miriam Petty
Associate Professor of Radio/TV/Film
Research: Race, Stardom, Performance, Adaptation, and Reception in Film
Angela G. Ray
Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Research: Rhetorical Criticism, 19th century Popular Lecturing, Women’s Rhetoric
Ariel Rogers
Associate Professor of Radio/Television/Film
Research: History and theory of cinema and related media, with a focus on movie technologies, new media, and spectatorship
Shayna Silverstein
Assistant Professor of Performance Studies
Research: Embodiment, Ethnographic Methods, Ethnomusicology, Performance, Popular Culture, Sound Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies
Jacob Smith
Professor of Radio/TV/Film; Founder and Director of the Master of Arts in Sound Arts and Industries
Research: Cultural History of Media, Sound, and Performance
Jessica Thebus
Associate Professor of Theatre; Director, MFA in Directing
Creative Practice: Directing, Toy Theatre, Collaboration Techniques for Designers and Directors
Neil Verma
Assistant Professor of Radio/Television/Film
Research: Sound; Radio and Audio Drama; Aesthetics; Media Studies
Will West
Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies
Research: Early Modern Theatre and Drama; Poetry and Poetics
Mary Zimmerman
Professor, Jaharis Family Foundation Chair in Performance Studies
Creative Practice: Adaptation of Literature for Theatre, Directing, Devising

For more information on our associate faculty, please consult our full Associate Faculty List