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Michael Dalebout

Michael Dalebout

Visiting Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Writing & Public Discourse

Professor Dalebout’s research examines contemporary forms of media participation in democratic cultures. They are especially concerned with self-presentational practices that have the potential to be culturally transformative for people whose experiences are marginalized due to representationalist treatments of identity. Their work has been published in NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies and Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, and they are a member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the American Humor Studies Association.

Professor Dalebout’s courses examine how people enunciate, acknowledge, and negotiate difference and its challenges in everyday life. Their courses draw on insights and examples from many disciplines in order to understand how humanity's ineluctable, agonistic relationship with technology undergirds structures of personal identity and collective action. Their classes ask students to think critically and creatively about human experiences, especially ones informed by intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ability, and class in today’s world.

Professor Dalebout’s current book project analyzes stand-up comedians’ digitally mediated acts of self-presentation, arguing that the political efficacy of comic voices in the age of the online digital public sphere is about the phenomenon of ‘standing up,’ or constructing identities by refashioning worlds we share with others, as distinct from ‘speaking up’ about prefabricated notions of democratic identities, even intersectional ones. They are also revising a manuscript about the comedic stylings of philosopher JL Austin, and have recently submitted journal articles about stand-ups Ali Wong and Dave Chappelle.

Ph.D. Rhetoric
University of California, Berkeley

M.A. Rhetoric
University of California, Berkeley

B.A. Rhetoric
University of California, Berkeley

A.A. Arts and Humanities
Ventura Community College

Rhetoric & Film Studies
Whitman College


Co-authored with Renee Pastel. “Truth and Truths-to-Come: Investigating Viral Rumors in Q: Into the Storm,” NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies 11, no. 1 (2022): 128-149.

“‘Which One of You is the Twelve-Year-Old Boy?’: Children’s Humour, Wittgensteinian Jokes, and The Sack Lunch Bunch,” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures13, no. 1 (2021): 237-258.

“Review of The Dark Side of Stand-up Comedy, edited by Patrice A. Oppliger and Eric Shouse,” Studies in American Humor7, no. 1 (2021): 251-254.

“Review of Gimbel, Steven. Isn’t That Clever: A Philosophical Account of Humor and Comedy,” Studies in American Humor5, no. 1 (2019): 247-250 .


“Authenticity, Im/materiality, and Comic Media,” AHSA & SCMS SIG Conference, July 2023.

“Screening ourselves: Considering Technology and Media Literacy in Stand-up Performance,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, March 2021.

“Bawdy Belly Laughter: Self-Representation and Social Transformation in Ali Wong’s Stand-up Comedy,” American Humor Studies Association “Slipping on Banana Peels” Panel, Modern Language Association Conference, Toronto, January 2021.

“Scandalization and Social Repair in Dave Chappelle’s Sticks & Stones,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference “Scandal!” Virtual Conference/Jacksonville, FL. November 2020.

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