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Contact Information

Academic School

School of Communication and the Arts


Lowell Thomas 243



(845) 575-3000 ext. 2393

Philip Scepanski

Assistant Professor of Media Arts


Philip Scepanski studies American television history and cultural theory. His current book project focuses on the ways American television comedy responds to and manages moments of collective trauma. Professor Scepanski has presented widely and published numerous articles and book chapters on topics related to collective trauma and humor. He is also researching Eleanor Roosevelt's presence on National Educational Television in the late 1950s until her death and the impact her show, Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt, had on her relationship with John F. Kennedy.


BS, Radio, Television, and Film, Northwestern University
MA, Film and Television, University of California, Los Angeles
PhD, Screen Cultures, Northwestern University

Research Interest/ Areas of Focus

Television, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, American Studies, Affect, Comedy and Humor, Trauma

Selected Publications

Scepanski, Philip. “Addiction, Abjection, and Humor: Craig Ferguson’s Confessional Stand-Up.” In The Dark Side of Stand-Up, edited by Eric Shouse and Patrice Opliger. London: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.

Scepanski, Philip. “Retroactive Edits: 9/11, Television’s Popular Archive, and Shifting Popular Memory.” Television and New Media. January 20, 2018.

Scepanski, Philip. “Sacred Catastrophe, Profane Laughter: Family Guy’s Comedy in the Ritual of National Trauma.” In The Comedy Reader, edited by Nick Marx and Matt Sienkiewicz. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

Scepanski, Philip. “Dummies and Demographics: Islamophobia as Market Differentiation in Post-9/11 Television Comedy.” In Taboo Comedy: Television and Controversial Humour, edited by Chiara Bucaria and Luca Barra, 119–38. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.

Scepanski, Philip. "9/11, Television Comedy, and the Ideology of 'National Trauma.'" In Exploring the Edges of Trauma: 150 Years of Art and Literature, edited by Alexandra Stara and Tamás Bényei. Cambridge Scholars Press. 2014.

Selected Presentations

“Virtual Slapstick: Digital Technology, Threats to Identity, and Technophobic Comedy”; Humor in America Conference; Chicago, IL; July 13, 2018

“Something in a Lighter Vein: Parody and Affective History Across Borders”; National Cultures of Television Comedy Symposium; London, UK; November 17, 2017

“’Our Most Distinguished Guest’: Prospects of Mankind, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy;” The Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference; Chicago, IL; March 22, 2017.

“Prospects, Party, and Power: Eleanor Roosevelt at National Educational Television;” Film and History Conference; Milwaukee, WI; October 28, 2016.

Panel Chair; “Transgressive Women V: Transgressive Women and U.S. History;” Milwaukee, WI; October 28, 2016.