Professor of Communication Arts
Director, Conflict Transformation Studies Certificate Program
At North Park since: 1989
Robert Hostetter chose to teach at North Park because of its commitment to Christian values, justice, and social change, and its cultural engagement with the city of Chicago. He brings all of these aspects into his classes, whether he’s teaching courses in Communication Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies, or Conflict Transformation Studies.
In his Performance and Social Change class, students explore immigration issues by working with the Albany Park Neighborhood Council to record and perform ethnographic stories of human struggle and social justice. Through using the city as an extended classroom, Professor Hostetter takes advantage of the rich cultural landscape so students can fully engage in their studies and apply it to their own lives and experiences. He also regularly assigns his students to see theatre and other performances throughout the city, as well as to attend the Chicago International Film Festival and the Chicago Latino Film Festival.
Professor Hostetter encourages discussions of faith and belief, as well, through the questions, topics, and structure of his classes. “I am especially drawn to the biblical injunction to love one’s neighbor as one’s self,” he says. “This commitment to empathy, intercultural dialogue, and social justice appears in most of the courses I teach.”
This interest extends to his research, which is focused on the Arab-Israeli Conflict. He is currently working on a book and performance based on interviews with individuals who are involved with peacekeeping efforts in the region.
Professor Hostetter is a member of the National Communication Association.
PhD, Theatre and Performance Studies, Northwestern University
MA, Religion and Theatre, Christian Theological Seminary
BA, English, Eastern Mennonite University
Robert Hostetter. “From the Heart of the Heart of Learning.” In Spirituality, Action & Pedagogy: Teaching from the Heart, edited by Diana Denton and Will Ashton. New York: Peter Lang, 2004.