Jacqueline Stewart is the host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Silent Sunday Nights showcases silent films from all over the world, including both feature films and silent shorts, spanning from the work of director Oscar Micheaux to pioneer Mabel Normand, and actor Douglas Fairbanks to filmmaker Robert Flaherty.
In 2021, Stewart joined the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures as the Chief Artistic and Programming Officer. In this executive position, she leads strategy and planning for the Academy Museum’s curatorial, educational, and public programming initiatives, including exhibitions, screenings, symposia, publications, workshops, and K-12 programs.
Stewart was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2021 for ensuring that the contributions of overlooked Black filmmakers and communities of spectators have a place in the public imagination.
She is also a professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where she is Director of the Arts + Public Life. She teaches American film history, specializing in African American cinema from the silent era to the present. In 2018, Stewart was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Stewart is the author of the award winning book Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, a study of African Americans and silent cinema. She is coeditor of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, a landmark study of the first generation of film school trained Black filmmakers out of UCLA, including Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Haile Gerima. Stewart's writings have appeared Critical Inquiry, Film Quarterly, Film History and The Moving Image. She has two forthcoming books, on directors William Greaves and Spencer Williams.
Stewart is a passionate film archivist and advocate for film preservation. She studied moving image archiving at UCLA and the FIAF (International Federation of Film Archives) Summer School film restoration program at the Cineteca Bologna in Italy. She is a three-term appointee to the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB), which advises the Librarian of Congress on film preservation policy. As Chair of the NFPB Diversity Task Force, Stewart is currently authoring reports on diversity, equity and inclusion on the National Film Registry and in the film archival profession. Stewart has served on the Boards of Chicago Film Archives and the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
A native of Chicago's South Side, Stewart founded the South Side Home Movie Project in 2005 to preserve, digitize and screen amateur footage documenting everyday life from the perspectives of South Side residents.
Stewart’s interests as a scholar, archivist and curator come together in Pioneers of African American Cinema (Kino-Lorber), a 5-disc set she co-curated in 2015 that features the most comprehensive assemblage of early African American filmmaking. In 2015 and 2017, Stewart was named one of Chicago's "50 Screen Gems" by Newcity magazine.
Stewart received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago, and her BA from Stanford University where she majored in English. She was Associate Professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film and African American Studies at Northwestern University (2007-2013). Her research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.