Nick Marx is an Associate Professor of film and media studies, specializing in television studies, media industries, digital media, and American politics and culture. He is author or co-editor of three books: Sketch Comedy: Identity, Reflexivity, and American Television (Indiana University Press, 2019), The Comedy Studies Reader (University of Texas Press, 2018), and Saturday Night Live and American TV (Indiana University Press, 2013). His peer-reviewed research has appeared in The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Television and New Media, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and in the anthologies From Networks to Netflix: A Guide to Changing Channels (Routledge, 2018) and How to Watch Television (New York University Press, 2013).
Nick's current book project is The Right-Wing Comedy Complex, which analyzes the cultural influence and economic clout of libertarian and conservative comedians like Joe Rogan, Tim Allen, and Fox News' Greg Gutfeld. You can follow Nick on Twitter (@marxnick) and access free copies of his scholarship here.
SPCM 341 – Evaluating Contemporary Television
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the basic concepts, forms, practices, functions, and policies that have guided the evolution and operation of television in the United States. We examine developments in the programming, industrial and institutional structure, regulatory oversight, technological innovation, and cultural significance of television. We also, of course, regularly watch television programming as part of our sessions and include these texts as part of our broader understanding of the medium.
SPCM 342 – Critical Media Studies
This course teaches fundamental ideas in media & cultural theory so that students may become more active, effective, and critical consumers of media and culture. To do this we examine how the media is a language that we speak, but also that speaks us, impacting how we see ourselves and our world. This knowledge allows us not only to better understand the world, but also to potentially alter or use the media to change it.
This course provides a wide overview of approaches to and types of media and cultural studies, particularly from the standpoint of how media construct our material conditions, social identities, and political realities. The course follows a rough historical trajectory, beginning with critiques of culture as a capitalist enterprise, and ending with more recent work in critical studies of race, gender, and sexuality. This course combines theory with assignments, readings, and discussions that focus on how we can practically make sense of (and change) our world. It relies heavily on your interests and lives to determine its content and focus, in the choice of presentation and paper topics as well as the direction of the discussion.
SPCM 479 Capstone: Communicating with Comedy
This class examines the recent surge in popular comedic media, investigates comedy’s role in public discourse, and considers how comedic communication equips us to live better lives. Working primarily in research pairs, we will explore the comedic communicative practices that give voice to those across a range of social power positions.