Skip to main content


More than 60 Northwestern faculty members from over 20 different departments serve as associate faculty for the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama. Associate faculty are eligible to chair dissertations; at least two (of three) dissertation committee members must be on the Associate Faculty. 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. A partial listing of our faculty:

Masi Asare 
Assistant Professor of Theatre; IPTD Executive Committee Member 
Research and Creative Practice: Musical Theatre, Performance Theory, and African American Performance
Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson
Associate Professor of Performance Studies
Research: Performance Theory, Critical Race Theory, Contemporary Art and Performance, Political Theory, and Queer of Color Critique
Tracy C. Davis
Ethel M. Barber Professor of Performing Arts; Professor of Theatre and English; IPTD Executive Committee Member
Research: Historiography, 19th and 20th century History, Performance Theory, Research Methodology
Ryan Dohoney
Assistant Professor of Musicology
Research: Historical Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Experimental Music, and Modern Music
Paul Edwards
Associate Professor of Performance Studies
Research and Creative Practice: Narratology, Theory, and Adaptation
Gary Fine
James E. Johnson Professor of Sociology; IPTD Executive Committee Member
Research: Sociology of Art, Folklore, Performance Criticism, Qualitative Field Methods
E. Patrick Johnson
Carlos Montezuma Professor of African American Studies and Performance Studies; Chair of the Department of African American Studies
Research and Creative Practice: Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Queer Performance, and Performance Ethnography
Susan Manning
Professor of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies; IPTD Executive Committee Member
Research: Dance Studies, Gender Studies, Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies, 20th-Century Theatrical Performance, and American Studies
 Mary Pattillo
Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, African American Studies Director of Graduate Studies
Research: Urban Sociology; Black Middle Class; Race and Policy; Housing; Ethnography
Miriam Petty
Associate Professor of Radio/TV/Film; Director of Graduate Studies, Screen Cultures
Research: Race, Stardom, Performance, Adaptation, and Reception in Film
Dassia Posner
Associate Professor of Theatre and Slavic Languages and Literatures; Director of IPTD (on leave 2018-19)
Research and Creative Practice: History and Theory of Directing, Russian Avant-garde Theatre, Dramaturgy, and Puppetry and Material Performance
Angela G. Ray
Associate Professor of Communication Studies; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, The Graduate School
Research: Rhetorical Criticism, 19th century Popular Lecturing, Women’s Rhetoric
Ramón Rivera-Servera
Professor of Performance Studies; Chair, Department of Performance Studies; Interim Chair, Department of Theatre
Research: 20th and 21st century U.S., Mexican, and Caribbean Performance, Queer Studies, Latino/a American Studies
 Ariel Rogers
Assistant Professor of Radio/Television/Film; IPTD Executive Committee Member
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
Elizabeth W. Son
Associate Professor of Theatre; Interim Director of IPTD
Research: Asian and Asian American Theatre and Performance, Transnational/ Diaspora Studies, Critical Race Studies, Gender Studies, Trauma and Memory
Jessica Thebus
Associate Professor of Theatre; Director, MFA in Directing
Creative Practice: Directing, Toy Theatre, Collaboration Techniques for Designers and Directors
Will West
Associate Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies; Chair of the Department of Classics
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.

The many recent books by Associate Faculty show the wide breadth of multi-disciplinary research available to our students.