About Beck

Beck Krefting is Associate Professor in the American Studies Department, affiliate faculty for Gender Studies, Black Studies, Intergroup Relations, and Media and Film Studies at Skidmore College. Her monograph, All Joking Aside: American Humor and Its Discontents (Johns Hopkins UP), charts the history and economy of “charged humor” or stand-up comedy aimed at social justice. She is a contributing author to edited collections some of which include: Hysterical!: Women in American Comedy (University of Texas Press, 2017), Transgressive Humor of American Women Writers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), The Joke Is On Us: Political Comedy in (Late) Neoliberal Times (Lexington Books, 2019), Ethics in Comedy: Essays on Crossing the Line (McFarland, 2020), and Taking a Stand: American Stand-up Comedians as Public Intellectuals (University of Mississippi Press, 2021). You can read articles about Hannah Gadsby published in 2019 in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies and Studies in American Humor or an examination of comedy’s role in #MeToo and Black Lives Matter Movements in a special issue published in Contemporary Political Theory (June 2021). Beck has been invited to speak about her research at colleges and universities domestically and internationally, most recently at universities in Hannover, Munich, and Dresden. Current research includes: histories/historiographies of stand-up comedy, feminist comedy studies, and prepper/survivalist subcultures. Her current book project is tentatively titled: The Economy of Stand-up Comedy: Tribalism, Identity Politics, and Emotional Capital.

Recent Publications

“Maria Bamford: A/Way With Words.”
In Taking a Stand: American Stand-up Comedians as Public Intellectuals, edited by Peter Kunze and Jared Champion. Oxford, Mississippi: University of Mississippi Press, 2021
“Comedy’s Ideological Kerfuffles: From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter.”
Contemporary Political Theory. Special Issue: The Political Force of the Comedic. Vol. 20, no. 2 (June 2021): 419-446.
“Hannah Gadsby Stands Down: Feminist Comedy Studies."
Journal of Cinema and Media Studies. *Formerly called Cinema Journal. Special Issue – In Focus: What’s So Funny about Comedy and Humor Studies? Vol. 58, No. 3 (Spring 2019): 165-170.

Education

Ph.D., 2010

American Studies
University of Maryland, College Park

M.A., 2004

Women's Studies
Ohio State University

B.A., 2001

English and Psychology
University of Alabama in Huntsville

Academic Appointments

Chair, AMERICAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT

Skidmore College
2018 - 2021

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, AMERICAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT

Skidmore College
2017 - Present

DIRECTOR OF MEDIA AND FILM STUDIES PROGRAM

Skidmore College
2015 - 2017

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, AMERICAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT

Skidmore College
2011 - 2017

VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

Skidmore College
2010 - 2011

Instructor

University of Maryland, College Park
2004 - 2010

Instructor

Ohio State University
2002 - 2004

Honors, Grants, and Awards