Neda Ulaby

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR and hosts its award-winning Culturetopia podcast. Her work includes profiling actors, authors, musicians, and those who inform the world through creative expression, and covering the complicated relationships between art, artists, and society.

Ulaby came to NPR in 2000 when she was recruited through NPR's Next Generation Radio, and landed a temporary position on the cultural desk as an editorial assistant. She soon started reporting regularly, augmenting her radio work with arts journalism for the Washington [D.C.] City Paper.

Most recently, Ulaby's stories have included a series on women record producers, an investigation into exhibitions of plastinated human bodies, and a look at the legacy of gay activist Harvey Milk. Her profiles have brought listeners into the worlds of such performers as Ellen Page, Timbaland, Mark Ruffalo, Courtney Love, and the RZA; writers Sarah Waters and Etgar Keret; and directors Hayao Miyazaki, Fatih Akin, and Eli Roth.

NPR’s Culturetopia, Ulaby’s weekly podcast of NPR's best arts stories, won a Gracie award for Outstanding Podcast from the American Women in Radio and Television. Ulaby has received the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship and a fellowship from the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism to study youth culture.

A former doctoral student in English literature, Ulaby was managing editor of Chicago's Windy City Times, and co-host of the radio program, “What's Coming Out at the Movies.” Her film reviews appeared in alternative papers nationwide. She also edited fiction for The Chicago Review, and served on the editing staff of the leading academic journal Critical Inquiry. Ulaby’s articles on slapstick comedy have been published internationally. She taught classes in the humanities at the University of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, and at high schools serving at-risk students.

Ulaby was born in Amman, Jordan, and grew up in the Midwest of the United States. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she worked as an intern for the features desk of the Topeka Capital-Journal. Ulaby lives in Washington, D.C., with her partner, Robin, and their three-legged dog.




Thu May 19, 2011
Monkey See

Mary Hart: An Icon Of Modern Celebrity Steps Down After Nearly 30 Years

Mary Hart has hosted Entertainment Tonight since 1982. She's now stepping down.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

After 29 years, Mary Hart is stepping down as host of the CBS show Entertainment Tonight – presumably with those legs once insured for a million dollars each. It's television's longest-running entertainment show, and Hart's been with it almost since the beginning. She helped create a kind of news that, like it or not, has come to permeate the culture.

Before Entertainment Tonight, regular folks weren't expected to be interested in the industry side of the entertainment industry.

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Thu May 19, 2011
Around the Nation

Frito-Lay Uses Time Square For PR Stunt

NPR's Neda Ulaby goes inside one massive PR stunt. Frito Lay setup in Times Square with Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef to promote the company's products as healthy and all-natural.


Thu May 5, 2011
The Message Makers: Inside PR

Corporate America Take On Multilingual PR

Part of a series on the PR industry

Julia Huang runs InterTrend, a marketing company in southern California that focuses on Asian-Americans.

"We say Asian-American markets, [but] it's really not one market," she said in a recent phone conversation. "It's so many markets. It's so many!"

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Tue May 3, 2011
The Record

Beyonce (And Michelle Obama) Get The Kids Moving

Tuesday afternoon, kids at hundreds of middle schools all over the country were dancing exactly the same dance at exactly the same time. OK, they're middle school kids, so probably they were all doing something similar at more or less the same time. They called it a "flash workout" at the direction of two powerful leaders: Beyonce and the First Lady.

The kids were dancing to Beyonce's song and video "Move Your Body," a reworking of her song "Get Me Bodied," made for Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign.

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Fri April 22, 2011
Monkey See

A New 'Doctor Who' Tries To Make Peace With Its Impatient Stateside Fans

It's a problem that might baffle even the intrepid Doctor Who: how to dissuade the show's devoted fans from downloading it illegally.

Those fans span generations — from those who remember the cult-y British science fiction show as a rickety affair, with visible zippers in costumes and esoteric plotlines, to newer converts impressed by the slick, accessible and very funny new reboot starring Matt Smith as the eleventh incarnation of the Time Lord, who scoots around the space-time continuum by way of a bright blue police call box.

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