Robert Bird, prolific scholar of Russian literature and film, 1969–2020

Robert Bird

Prof. Robert James Douglas Bird—an expert on Russian literature, film and modernism—died Sept. 7 in Chicago after a nine-month battle with colon cancer. He was 50.

“Robert’s outstanding biographical and critical work made a lasting impression on the fields of Russian literature, cinema and intellectual history,” said Anne Walters Robertson, dean of the Division of the Humanities and the Claire Dux Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Music. “As a legendary teacher and mentor, he also will be sorely missed.”

Court Theatre Reimagines the Stage Through Online Programs During Pandemic

Sarah Nooter

For Court Theatre executive director Angel Ysaguirre, the magic of the stage exists in the actors’ ability to connect with the audience—to see their smiles and their tears, and to hear their laughter, gasps and applause.

But the coronavirus pandemic has forced all large gathering spaces to close, putting “the electricity of theater,” as Ysaguirre puts it, on hold for the indefinite future. Instead of shutting its doors completely for the upcoming academic year, Court will transition to an all-digital platform, allowing audiences to reinterpret productions from their own computers.

In October, for example, Prof. Sarah Nooter will use Euripedes’ The Bacchae—based on the Greek myth of King Pentheus and his punishment by the god Dionysus—as a way to explore the contemporary manifestations of intertwining the personal and political, and the importance of listening to the will of the people. 

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