Snedden lecture features NPR’s Neda Ulaby

Portrait of NPR reporter Neda Ulaby. Photo courtesy of Neda Ulaby.
Photo courtesy of Neda Ulaby.
Portrait of Neda Ulaby.

Neda Ulaby, a reporter with National Public Radio’s Arts Desk, will deliver a talk on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, from 7-8:30 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Ulaby’s presentation, titled “Covering — and Uncovering — a Fragmented, Messy Culture in a Freaked-Out Media World,” is part of the Snedden Guest Lecture Series hosted by the UAF Department of Communication and Journalism.

Scouring art, music, television, film, new media and literature, Ulaby crafts stories that reflect political and economic realities, cultural issues, obsessions and transitions.

A 20-year veteran of NPR, Ulaby started as a temporary production assistant on the cultural desk, opening mail, booking interviews and cutting tape with razor blades. Over the years, she’s also worked as a producer and editor and won a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for hosting a podcast of NPR’s best arts stories.

Ulaby hosted the Emmy Award-winning public television series “Arab American Stories” in 2012. She earned a 2019 Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, as well as fellowships at the University of Southern California’s Getty Arts Journalism Program and the University of Texas at Austin’s Knight Center for Specialized Journalism.

Before coming to NPR, Ulaby worked as managing editor of Chicago’s Windy City Times and co-hosted a local radio program, “What's Coming Out at the Movies.” A former doctoral student in English literature, Ulaby has contributed to academic journals and taught classes in the humanities at the University of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University and high schools serving at-risk students.

Ulaby worked as an intern for the features desk of the Topeka Capital-Journal after graduating from Bryn Mawr College. But her first appearance in print was when she was only 4 days old. She was pictured on the front page of the New York Times, as a refugee, when she and her parents were evacuated from Amman, Jordan, during the conflict known as Black September.

The lecture is made possible by an endowment established by the late Helen Snedden in honor of her husband, former Fairbanks Daily News-Miner publisher Charles Willis “Bill” Snedden.

C.W. Snedden came to Fairbanks in 1948 to evaluate the News-Miner for then-owner Austin E. “Cap” Lathrop. Two years later, he bought the Interior daily. 

After C.W. Snedden’s death in 1989, Helen Snedden set up the Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism at UAF. The endowment supports a visiting faculty member. Past Snedden chairs have included some of the most accomplished reporters in the country, including 11 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists.

The endowment also supports the guest lecture series.

RSVP online here.