Thomas Doherty
Mike Lovett
Thomas Doherty

American studies professor Thomas Doherty is one of the experts and insiders interviewed in the new documentary “Where’s My Roy Cohn,” which one reviewer called “a delectable look at a despicable person.” Cohn, who died from AIDS complications in 1986, was a notorious lawyer and political power broker who defended mobsters, persecuted homosexuals and, early in his career, served as chief aide to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Cohn protégé Donald Trump reportedly uttered the question used as the film’s title after he assumed the presidency, when his attorney general recused himself from the Mueller probe.

Actor Annette Miller ’58, MFA’76, a resident scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center, gave one of the two best performances in a play in 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal, in the role of Gladys Green in Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery” at Shakespeare & Co., in Lenox, Massachusetts. In November, Miller helped bring the music of the Terezín concentration camp to life at Boston’s Symphony Hall, speaking the words of composer Viktor Ullmann’s setting of the Rainer Maria Rilke prose poem “The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke,” which Ullmann wrote at Terezín in 1944.

Lindsay Donohue ’07, vice president of limited series at FX Networks, was named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen 2019, a list of 35 rising executives in Hollywood who are age 35 or under. Donohue has overseen such critically acclaimed series as “Fargo” and “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

Brooklyn-based theater artist and producer Iyvon Edebiri ’13 was awarded the 2019 Mark O’Donnell Prize, presented to emerging theater artists and entrepreneurs who show promise across a variety of mediums. Edebiri is a creative producer, company manager and dramaturge who serves as artistic director and host of The Parsnip Ship, a monthly new-works series that presents plays before a live audience then distributes the performances through a podcast.

Susan Lanser, professor emerita of English; women’s, gender and sexuality studies; and comparative literature, won the International Society for the Study of Narrative’s 2020 Wayne C. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award. Lanser is the author of “The Narrative Act: Point of View in Prose Fiction” and “Fictions of Authority: Women Writers and Narrative Voice.”

After award-winning author Zadie Smith discussed her novel “Swing Time” with Brandeis first-years at the Helen and Philip Brecher New Student Forum, she and English professor John Plotz sat down to record a free-wheeling conversation for Recall This Book, the podcast Plotz and anthropology professor Elizabeth Ferry host. Asked about making a distinction between what people are and who they are, Smith said, “I think what fiction as a kind of philosophy always assumed is that what people make manifest is not all that people are. There’s a great part of human selves which are hidden, unknown to the self, obscure, and that’s the part that fiction is interested in.”

Singer/percussionist Walaa Sbait ’08 and his band 47SOUL performed in August on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. 47SOUL, formed in Jordan, created a style of music the band calls Shamstep, a hybrid of Arab roots music, dub, reggae and electronic dance music. Sbait was a Slifka Scholar at Brandeis.

Actors from the hit Israeli TV drama “Shtisel” visited campus in November. Shira Haas, Neta Riskin and Hadas Yaron discussed their characters and showed clips of some of their favorite scenes in an event hosted by the Film, Television and Interactive Media program in Wasserman Cinematheque. “Shtisel” follows the lives of the members of an ultra-Orthodox family in Jerusalem. A third season of the series, which is available on Netflix, is in the works.