Jordana Cox

Assistant Professor
Jordana Cox
(519) 888-4567 x 46809
Location: ML 243

My scholarship bridges communication studies, performance history, and the public humanities.

In particular, it explores how people in diverse, mass-mediated societies enact, sustain, and revise practices associated with democratic participation. My current focus is the relationship between news and theatrical performance in American public culture. I am at work on a book project tentatively called Staged News: The Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspapers in New York, 1935-9.

In conjunction with my research on political performance, I have a keen interest in community-engaged teaching and public programming. Prior to joining Waterloo in 2017, I was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Humanities at the University of Richmond (2016-17), and the Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Florida’s Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (2015-16)


M.A./Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2015

B.A. (Hons), University of Toronto, 2008

Selected Work:

“The Loudspeaker and the Little Man:” Mass Media and Democratic Participation in the Federal Theatre Project’s One-Third of a Nation, Journal for the History of Rhetoric 23.2 (July 2020): 121-147. 

With Lauren Tilton, “The Digital Public Humanities: Giving New Arguments and New Ways to Argue,” Review of Communication 19.2 (2019): 127-146.

“Finding Freedom in Black Radical Manuscripts” (invited contributor), Roundtable on Kate Dossett’s Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal, Black Perspectives and The Journal of Civil and Human Rights, 15 July 2020.

“The Phantom Public, the Living Newspaper: Reanimating the Public in the Federal Theatre Project’s 1935 (New York, 1936),” Theatre Survey 58.3 (2017): 300-325.

“‘Dialogue Makes a Difference:’ Open Secularism and Repertoires of Public Deliberation in the Bouchard-Taylor Commission” in Performing the Secular: Religion, Representation, and Politics, edited by Milija Gluhovic and Jisha Menon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 135-158.

With Kathryn Bosher, “Professional Tragedy: The Case of Medea in Chicago” in Greek Drama in the Americas: An Oxford Handbook in Classics and Ancient History, edited by Kathryn Bosher, Fiona Macintosh, Justine McConnell, and Patrice Rankine (Oxford University Press, 2015), 97-111.

Selected Fellowships & Awards:

Insight Development Grant for “Newsworthy: Journalistic imagination in Alexandra Bell's Counternarratives and Hill and Silvera's Liberty Deferred,” SSHRC, 2020.

Explore Grant, for “Inside the New York Living Newspaper Unit,” UW/SSHRC, 2019.

Exchange Grant, “Something To Be Whispered Out Loud: Talk as Cure in Spirochete (Philadelphia, 1939),” UW/SSHRC, 2019.

Graduate Research Ignition Grant, School of Communication, Northwestern University, 2013.

Graduate Fellowship, Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Civic Life, Northwestern University, 2011 – 14.

Performing Arts Grant for Professional Development Internship in Dramaturgy, Metcalf Foundation (Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa ON), 2008 – 09.

Courses Taught:

COMMST 228: Public Communication

COMMST / THPERF 220: Performance Studies

COMMST 227: Leadership

COMMST 399: Communication Inquiry

COMMST / THPERF 440: Performative Inquiry