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 several books, including 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, Communication, Culture & Critique, Television and New Media, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and in the anthologies From Networks to Netflix: A Guide to Changing Channels (Routledge, 2022) and How to Watch Television (New York University Press, 2013).
Nick's most recent book project is That's Not Funny: How the Right Makes Comedy Work For Them (University of California Press, 2022), 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 read an excerpt of the book at New York magazine, and you can follow Nick on Twitter (@marxnick).
That’s Not Funny: How the Right Makes Comedy Work For Them, co-authored with Matt Sienkiewicz. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2022.
Sketch Comedy: Identity, Reflexivity, and American Television. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2019.
The Comedy Studies Reader, co-edited with Matt Sienkiewicz. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2018.
Saturday Night Live and American TV, co-edited with Matt Sienkiewicz and Ron Becker. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
“Home Economics: Sitcom Capitalism, Conservative Comedy, and Media Conglomeration in Post-Network Television,” Communication, Culture & Critique, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2022, 21-35.
“Appropriating Irony: Conservative Comedy, Trump-Era Satire, and the Politics of Television Humor,” with Matt Sienkiewicz, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Volume 60, Issue 4, Summer 2021, 85-108.
“A digital media attention diversion improves mood and fear in patients receiving chemotherapy for recurrent gynecologic malignancies: results of a randomized trial,” with Ryan J Spencer, Vinita Alexander, Jens Eickhoff, Kaitlin Woo, Erin Costanzo, and Stephen L Rose, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2020, 525-532.
“Expanding the Brand: Race, Gender, and the Post-politics of Representation on Comedy Central,” Television and New Media, Volume 17, Issue 3, March 2016, 272-287.
“Radio Voices, Digital Downloads: Bridging Old and New Media in the Onion Radio News Podcast,” Comedy Studies, Volume 6, Issue 2, August 2015, 107-117.
“Click Culture: The Perils and Possibilities of Family Guy and Convergence-Era Television,” with Matt Sienkiewicz, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Volume 11, Issue 2, June 2014, 103-119.
“Storage Wars: Clouds, Cyberlockers, and Media Piracy in the Digital Economy,” The Journal of e-Media Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2013.
“‘The Missing Link Moment’: Web Comedy in New Media Industries,” The Velvet Light Trap, Issue 68, fall 2011, 14-23.
“Beyond a Cutout World: Ethnic Humor and Discursive Integration in South Park,” with Matt Sienkiewicz, The Journal of Film and Video, Volume 61, Issue 2, summer 2009, 5-18.
Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters:
“Funny or Die,” in Jody Baumgartner (ed.), American Political Humor: Masters of Satire and Their Impact on U.S. Policy and Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2019, 525-528.
“Comedy Central: Transgressive Femininities and Reaffirmed Masculinities” in Derek Johnson (ed.), From Networks to Netflix: A Guide to Changing Channels. New York: Routledge, 2018, 177-186.
“Introduction: Comedy as Theory, Industry, and Academic Discipline” with Matt Sienkiewicz in Nick Marx and Matt Sienkiewicz (eds), The Comedy Studies Reader. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2018, 1-16.
“Family Guy: Undermining Satire” in Jason Mittell and Ethan Thompson (eds), How to Watch Television. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013, 177-186.
“Skits Strung Together: Performance, Narrative, and the Sketch Comedy Aesthetic in SNL Films” in Nick Marx, Matt Sienkiewicz, and Ron Becker (eds), Saturday Night Live and American TV. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013, 213-232.
“Introduction: Situating Saturday Night Live in American Television Culture,” with Matt Sienkiewicz and Ron Becker in Nick Marx, Matt Sienkiewicz, and Ron Becker (eds), Saturday Night Live and American TV. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013, 1-21.
“Respecting ‘Authoritah:’ Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Authorship in South Park and Beyond,” in Brian Cogan (ed.), Deconstructing South Park: Critical Examinations of Animated Transgression. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011, 165-177.
SPCM 178 – Communication Studies New to the Major Seminar
The central question this new-to-the major seminar answers is: Why communication studies? As the introduction to the major, this course will serve as a building block for future classes, exploring how our various identities show up in the classroom, how we can engage in difficult discussions, and how the CSU’s principles of community are reflected in the major. One of the central aims of the course is to build community among students. Furthermore, the course will expose students to the various traditions represented in the department by introducing faculty in each of those areas. Finally, students will explore how various curricular and extra-curricular opportunities will help them as they pursue various career paths and will deepen their understanding of the resources available on campus to support their pursuits.
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.