Northwestern to host New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als


Source: University of South Carolinia

Hilton Als. The cultural critic will speak on campus next week.

Gabby Birenbaum, Campus Editor

The Contemporary Thought Speaker Series will host essayist and author Hilton Als on April 8, according to a CTSS news release.

He will speak in a moderated conversation with African American Studies Prof. E. Patrick Johnson, the chair of the department.

Als has primarily worked as a cultural critic, currently serving as the lead theatre critic for The New Yorker. In the past, he was a staff writer at the Village Voice and editor-at-large at Vibe. Outside of writing, he curates art exhibitions — his 2017 “Alice Neel, Uptown” exhibit at New York City’s David Zwirner Gallery was named one of Artforum’s 10 best shows of the year.

As a writer, Als has been heavily acclaimed throughout his career. Recently, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for Criticism and the Langston Hughes medal in 2018. In the past, he won first prize in the Magazine Critique and Magazine Arts and Entertainment categories from the New York Association of Black Journalists in 1997.

Als’ book “White Girls” won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT nonfiction in 2014. Finally, he has received both a Guggenheim fellowship and a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.

CTSS co-president Amanda Gordon said Als’ prominence as a writer and the importance of the topics he pursues makes her eager to hear from him.

“Hilton Als is uniquely situated at the forefront of literary journalism and the arts,” Gordon said in the release. “His writing and curated exhibitions are both deeply personal and broadly resonant, delving into and dissecting narratives of race, gender and queer identity. We could not be more excited to hear from him on campus.”

The event will take place next Monday at 7 p.m. in Harris Hall. Als is CTSS’ third speaker of the year, following activist Dolores Huerta in October and author Marc Lamont Hill in November.

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