Skip to main content

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Institute for Modern Communications



Founded in 1985, Northwestern University's Institute for Modern Communications (IMC) is an interdisciplinary program of media studies designed to promote scholarship that does not neatly fit the curricula of either the School of Speech or the Medill School of Journalism. The Institute's philosophy unites theory and practice, research and teaching, scholarship and production.

In the fall of 1983, President Strotz and the Board of Trustees identified mass communication as a major priority for University development over the next several years.  To meet this challenge, the School of Speech and Medill School of Journalism immediately initiated the Media Planning Project, which over the period 1983-1986 developed the scheme for a new media studies institute at Northwestern.  Project surveys investigated mass communications programs in other institutions; and eight planning committees, composed of faculty members, identified the Institute's practical needs, as well as the potential contributions of Northwestern's academic programs to the field of media studies.

As a result of the committees' research, Northwestern University inaugurated the Institute for Modern Communications (IMC) in December of 1985 and launched the Founders Campaign to fund the Institute.  The Campaign aimed at raising $25,000,000 to construct a facility; to purchase equipment; to endow chairs, professorships, and fellowships; and to support IMC programs. Campaign fundraising efforts relied on various committees, such as the Media Studies Campaign Steering Committee and International Advisory Committee, as well as "demonstration projects" created by the IMC faculty to exemplify the IMC's research potential.

Since its foundation in 1985, the Institute has organized various activities and programs to promote creativity and interdisciplinary research  in the communication fields.  In 1985, planning faculty committees created various "demonstration projects," intended as examples of possible IMC research strategies.  These examples were further developed in 1986 into funded communication projects, such as “Creating for Television,” "Journalism and Policy,” and “News Media and the Public,” which subsequently provided the foundation for the IMC's seminars, lectures, publications, media productions, and exhibits.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the Institute for Modern Communications (IMC)

Identifier: 20/63
Abstract The records of the Institute for Modern Communications fill nine boxes and span the years 1980 to 1992, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1983 and 1987. The series consists of the general administrative files of the IMC, documenting the planning, funding, and organization of the Institute and its activities; and proposals and reports of various committees in the Media Planning Project and the Founders Campaign. There are also some files documenting various projects and research...
Dates: 1980 - 1992; Other: Majority of material found within 1983 - 1987