Former Northwestern film professor joins ‘Survivor’ cast


Source: Twitter

Former Communication Prof. Max Dawson, (second row, sixth from left) poses with the rest of the cast of the 30th season of the CBS show “Survivor.” During his time at Northwestern, Dawson taught a class based on the reality TV show.

Shane McKeon, Assistant Campus Editor

Former Communication Prof. Max Dawson, who was known on campus for teaching a class about the reality show “Survivor,” will compete on the show’s upcoming season, CBS announced Wednesday.

At Northwestern, Dawson’s Radio, Television and Film class involved dividing a class of 60 students into “tribes” to play a mock version of the television show.

“I am playing to win,” Dawson, now a media consultant in Topanga, California, said in a CBS news release. “I’ll survive because of my laser-like focus, confidence, conviction and level-headedness.”

Dawson chose his NU class about the show as his “personal claim to fame.”

RTVF 330: The Tribe Has Spoken: Surviving TV’s New Reality, offered Winter Quarter 2012, explored the “post-network, post-TiVo” television universe that led to reality shows’ rise. Students battled each other for immunity — an important element of “Survivor” — and for prizes such as coffee and even a pass on Dawson’s midterm exam.

“I love ‘Survivor,’” Dawson told The Daily in February 2012. “‘Survivor’ is a sort of family tradition for the Dawsons. I tweeted incessantly about the show for probably the last five or six seasons, and it became something I was known for among other academics.”

His class even included a Hidden Immunity Idol, a prominent feature of the show, which he hid on campus and tweeted clues about. But it wasn’t all fun and games: students who misbehaved were sent to Exile Island.

Dawson isn’t the first member of the NU community to appear on the show. Last February, then-SESP senior Alexis Maxwell began a run on the show’s 28th season. She was the sixth person voted off the island out of 18 initial players.

The new season will premiere on CBS on Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.

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