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Communication & Theatre Highlights

Prof. Jonathan Nichols-Pethick authors TV Cops

May 1, 2012

Jonathan D. Nichols-Pethick, associate professor of communication and theatre at DePauw University, is the author of TV Cops: The Contemporary American Television Police Drama. The new book is published by Routledge.TV Cops book cover

"The police drama has been one of the longest running and most popular genres in American television," notes a synopsis. "In TV Cops, Jonathan Nichols-Pethick argues that, perhaps more than any other genre, the police series in all its manifestations -- from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice to The Wire-- embodies the full range of the cultural dynamics of television. Exploring the textual, industrial, and social contexts of police shows on American television, this book demonstrates how polices drama play a vital role in the way we understand and engage issues of social order that most of us otherwise experience only in such abstractions as laws and crime statistics. And given the current diffusion and popularity of the form, we might ask a number of questions that deserve serious critical attention: Under what circumstances have stories about the police proliferated in popular culture? What function do these stories serve for both the television industry and its audiences? Why have these stories become so commercially viable for the television industry in particular? 
How do stories about the police help us understand current social and political debates about crime, about the communities we live in, and about our identities as citizens?"

Amanda D. Lotz, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan and 1996 graduate of DePauw, calls the text, "Not only the authoritative work on police series -- one of television's most multitudinous and enduring forms -- but a first-rate piece of television studies. Nichols-Pethick connects 30 years of cultural, industrial, and storytelling developments in a clear and compelling analysis."



DePauw Debate Team Wins National Championship

March 20, 2012

Two members of the DePauw University debate team -- sophomore Ronnie Kennedy and junior Jimmy Kirkpatrick -- won the national championship at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, which took place this past weekend in Overland Park, Kansas. Pi Kappa Delta is the oldest forensics honorary society in the United States and more than 65 colleges and universities took part in the national championship tournament.

Kennedy and Kirkpatrick compiled a 5-1 record in preliminary rounds to advance to elimination rounds. They defeated Northern Illinois University in the quarterfinal round on a 3-0 decision, then bested Webster University in a 3-0 decision in the semifinals, setting up a final round showdown with Boise State University. The final round resolution was: "Eliminate the World Bank." DePauw governed on the resolution, and Boise State opposed. The DePauw debaters prevailed in the final round on a 2-1 decision to win the national title.

Kirkpatrick was among three DePauw debaters who took home individual honors, finishing 8th. Sophomores Sam Leist  and Shelby Beasley claimed 4th and 7th places, respectively, in the junior division.

For information about the debate team, check the team's online page or or contact Geoff Klinger ‘88, associate professor of communication and theatre and DePauw’s director of forensics, at