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Steven Thrasher

Steven Thrasher

Assistant Professor and Daniel H. Renberg Chair

Steven W. Thrasher is the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting (with an emphasis on issues relevant to the LGBTQ community) and an assistant professor of journalism.

Thrasher has worked as writer-at-large at the Guardian, staff writer at the Village Voice, and facilitator for the NPR StoryCorps project. 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.”

Thrasher will 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.

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 on marginalized populations. As a teacher, he encourages students to draw upon history, theory, culture, and reporting to critically read and create media narratives. 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.   

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.