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Pulitzer Prize-winner Emily Nussbaum to speak as part of Contemporary Thought Speaker Series

Emily Nussbaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic for The New Yorker, will speak on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus on Thursday, June 1.

The event, hosted by the student-run Contemporary Thought Speaker Series, will be held at 7 p.m. in Harris 107 at 1881 Sheridan Road on the Evanston campus. The event will include a conversation with Nussbaum moderated by Professor Nick Davis followed by a Q&A with student questions.

Tickets are not required for the event, and seating will be first-come, first-serve. Doors to the event will open at 6 p.m.

Nussbaum has been a television critic for The New Yorker since 2011 and has generated acclaim for her writing on shows from “Girls” to “Mad Men.” Previously, she was a writer and editor at New York magazine. She won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, which highlighted her “television reviews written with an affection that never blunts the shrewdness of her analysis or the easy authority of her writing.” She also won a 2014 National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary.

In his letter to the Pulitzer judges, David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, cited how Nussbaum has “become indispensable to our understanding of how television reaches us in all facets of our lives,” while describing Nussbaum as “a critic who approaches television with a love both passionate and cerebral, free of condescension but unwilling to cheerlead for an industry that often goes awry.”

The AV Club has written that Nussbaum’s work illustrates how “the era of peak TV is also the era of great peak TV criticism.” The Washington Post describes Nussbaum as one of the top critics today to “push back against the orthodoxies of the Golden Age of Television” and to “start pushing the medium to get bigger, more expansive, more eccentric and more specific.”

“Many of us are fans of Emily’s innovative pieces for the New Yorker,” said Samantha Rose, co-chair of CTSS. “Her approach to TV criticism is as unique as it is enjoyable to read, and her incredible taste never falters.”

Moderator Nick Davis is an associate professor of English and gender & sexuality studies with a specialization in narrative cinema. His classes include large-lecture introductions to film and literature, queer cinema and sexuality studies as well as an advanced seminar on the history of film criticism in the U.S. He is also a contributing editor at Film Comment magazine, an online movie critic and a frequent film festival juror and journalist.

This discussion will be the Contemporary Thought Speaker Series’ fifth event of the year. Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins, President Obama’s chief speechwriter Cody Keenan and acclaimed author Zadie Smith spoke earlier this year. Previous CTSS speakers include Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, journalist Sarah Koenig, hip-hop artist Killer Mike, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and activist Angela Davis.

For more information, contact Samantha Rose, 516-780-2669, samantharose2017@u.northwestern.edu and Ben Zimmermann, 301-767-5489, benzimm2185@gmail.com 

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