We are excited to announce that Steven Thrasher, the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting and assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, has joined ISGMH’s core faculty group. Thrasher is a renowned journalist and scholar of HIV criminalization, racism, and homophobia, and was the recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Journalist of the Year award in 2012, as well as the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism in 2015.
Prior to joining the Medill faculty in 2019, Thrasher earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. He also holds a bachelor of fine arts in film/television production and dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Thrasher has worked as writer-at-large at the Guardian, staff writer at the Village Voice, and facilitator for the NPR StoryCorps project. He is a fellow of the Sexuality Project at Northwestern and a member of the American Studies Association, the American Sociological Association, the City University of New York AIDS Working Group, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and the National Association of Black Journalists. Thrasher is a frequent guest on NPR, CNN, and Democracy Now. He has also lectured extensively at universities and cultural institutions internationally, including the San Francisco Public Library, the Schomburg Center in Harlem, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the American University of Beirut.
His articles are regularly published in the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, Esquire, the Nation, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Daily Beast. He’s also a former researcher for Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” In Ferguson the same week Michael Brown was killed in 2014, Thrasher has reported on the Black Lives Matter movement for five years. His research combines journalistic and ethnographic methods to study how racism, homophobia, policing, medicine, incarceration, culture, and health intersect. A scholar of the criminalization of HIV/AIDS, Thrasher’s work centers marginalized populations.
Thrasher will continue to teach Medill courses in journalism at the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as elective classes cross-listed with American Studies, African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. As a teacher, he encourages students to draw upon history, theory, culture, and reporting to critically read and create media narratives. His research and reporting areas include U.S. Civil Rights; international histories of LGBTQ and gender identities; social movements; court reporting; media frames; colonialism; critical race theory; queer methods; policing; art criticism; public health reporting; and, HIV/AIDS history.