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

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.

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.

Research Interests
I locate myself within the critical and cultural studies of media, where my objects of study include television, stand-up comedy, social media, podcasting, and online fans and audiences. Methodologically, I draw largely on critical discourse analysis and ethnography to explore identity, representation and the articulation of ideologies and meaning within the circuit, particularly how ideologies like “authenticity” shape the ways in which media is created and understood. As a feminist media scholar, I focus specifically on how identity- especially race, class and gender- shape and are shaped systematically by these ideologies.

I’m also interested in audience and fandom, specifically the process through which meaning is articulated through audience paratexts like critical reviews, blogs, and social media conversation and the porous nature of the boundary between fan and producers.   In my research on comedy, I am particularly drawn to the dual nature of comics as comedy fans and comedy producers, comedians as transmedia performers, and comedy as a particular media industry.