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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 2021-22

Danielle Bainbridge Assistant Professor of Theatre
Research: Black theatre, literature, and culture; Black Feminist Theory; Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Performance; Postcolonial Theory

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

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

Thomas F. DeFrantz
Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Research and Creative Practice: Dance and African American Performance
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; Director of IPTD
Research: Asian and Asian American Theatre and Performance, Transnational/ Diaspora Studies, Critical Race Studies, Gender Studies, Trauma and Memory
Neil Verma
Assistant Professor of Radio/Television/Film
Research: Sound; Radio and Audio Drama; Aesthetics; Media Studies
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

Partial listing of additional associate faculty:

Masi Asare Assistant Professor of Theatre
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

Ryan Dohoney Assistant 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
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
Susan Manning
Professor of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies
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
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
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.