About

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E-mail: sbrown11 (at) illinois (dot) edu
Twitter: @stephbrown
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About Me

I am a comedy, podcast, and television enthusiast working on her
 doctorate in Media and Communications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in the Institute of Communications Research. In addition to teaching courses in Media and Cinema Studies and in Gender and Women’s Studies, I work on SCMS and Cinema Journal‘s Aca-Media podcast, serve as the grad rep for the SCMS Comedy and Humor Studies Scholarly Interest Group, co-produce a local women’s open mic, write over at Medium and for various other outlets, and am in the process of co-launching an after school program called Girls Amplified, which was piloted in the fall of 2015.

My dissertation research project explores gender, identity, and authenticity in stand-up comedy as a media industry through several case studies including Lindy West’s debate with Jim Norton about misogyny in comedy on FX’s Totally Biased with W Kamau Bell, the critical reception of television shows about women stand-up comics like Oxygen’s Funny Girls, and interviews with women and femme-identifying comics in Champaign and Chicago.  My second project explores television fandom on Twitter, including case studies on Comedy Central’s @Midnight and Freeform’s Switched at Birth. 

I received my B.A. in English from Indiana University and my M.A. in Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University.  Before returning to school, I worked for the New York Television Festival and for VOX, a voice-over talent agency in Los Angeles.