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Naomi McCormack is an award-winning artist and filmmaker whose work spans a diverse range of media, from blown glass to film and video. She grew up in Toronto, Canada, where she studied at the New School of Art and Sheridan College of Craft and Design and subsequently began her career as a sculptor, working in hot glass and exhibiting in galleries across Canada and the US. Her sculptural work led her to dance and performance art in the early 1990s and then to film and video, media that she continues to explore in a variety of forms and genres. Her early films focused on cinematic adaptations of dance, performance art, and poetry. A poem by Canadian poet Margaret Atwood inspired her historical drama The Hangman’s Bride, a film that went on to garner a Canadian Academy Award 1997.

Throughout the following decade she continued to make award-winning short films, while serving as director, field producer and editor on documentary television series, most notably “Man Alive” for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2006 she moved to Pennsylvania, where she currently teaches film and video production at Penn State University. Out of the Question: Women, Media and the Art of Inquiry is her first film produced in the U.S. about a significant epoch in American history. She is glad to have had the opportunity to work with fellow collaborator and colleague, Peter Simonson, in the creation of this documentary and is grateful to the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania for their ongoing support of the project.

Peter Simonson has written or edited a number of books and articles about the history of communication and communication studies. He grew up in Kansas City, took degrees from Stanford and the University of Iowa, and teaches in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

This is the second documentary film he has helped produce. The first, The Long Road to Decatur, was an award-winning portrayal of the social history of a classic and controversial book in media research, Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld’s Personal Influence (1955). Revolving around three famous sociologists intimately involved in the project—Lazarsfeld, Katz, and C. Wright Mills—that film explores Columbia University’s Bureau of Applied Social Research from the perspectives of leading men there in the 1940s and ‘50s. Out of the Question began for him as a study of what the same period looked like from the perspectives of women working in lower-status positions on projects that the leading men got credit for. Naomi McCormack made it much more than that and he is grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from her. He is also grateful for the support and generosity of Dean Michael Delli Carpini and the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, who entertained a pitch for this film after funding the first one. He thanks Joe Diorio at Annenberg and Lauren Archer at Colorado for their skillful, good-humored work in making the film and website into material realities; and Thelma Anderson, Joan Goldhamer, Gladys Lang, Thelma McCormack, and Yole Sills for their memories, hospitality, and help.