Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the U.S.
Lecture with Q&A
Location: Zoom Admission: Free Language: English Registration: Please register here
John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers – for many people Late Night Comedy has become the go-to source of insight into American politics, especially abroad. But how has this form of political expression developed, and what are the different approaches of liberal and conservative commentators?
In Irony and Outrage, Dannagal G. Young explores the success of liberal political satire and conservative opinion talk. Her argument: opinion talk is the political satire of the right and political satire is the opinion programming of the left. Drawing on decades of research on political and media psychology and media effects, as well as historical accounts and interviews with comedians and comedy writers, Young unpacks satire’s liberal “bias” and juxtaposes it with that of outrage’s conservative “bias.”
Using research from political psychology, she details how traits like tolerance for ambiguity and the motivation to engage with complex ideas shape our preferences for art, music, and literature; and how those same traits correlate with political ideology. In turn, she illustrates how these traits help explain why liberals and conservatives vary in the genres of political information they prefer to create and consume.
Dannagal G. Young is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Delaware where she studies the content, audience, and effects of non-traditional political information. She has authored over forty academic articles and book chapters exploring themes related to political entertainment, media psychology, public opinion, and misinformation. She is also a dedicated public scholar, with appearances on CNN, MSNBC, PBS and NPR and having written for publications including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Vox.
Her latest book Irony and Outrage (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines satire and outrage as the logical extensions of the respective psychological profiles of liberals and conservatives. Young was awarded the University of Delaware’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014 and is also a TED Speaker.