April 10, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Harris School of Public Policy Studies
1155 East 60th St.
Libby Hemphill, Assistant Professor of Communication and Information Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago's Second City has a long history of producing comedy superstars, many of whom followed alums John Belushi, Dan Aykyrod, and Gilda Radner to NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL). SNL alums, in turn, have also gone on to large screen success. Mike Myers, Tina Fey, and Steve Carrell are just a few of the recent Second City and SNL alums to enjoy such success. In this talk, I'll use the casts of the Second City Chicago and Saturday Night Live to examine the role of social networks in the production of comedy. Actors and their networks are often used to illustrate network phenomena such as "small worlds" or as fodder for party games such as "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". In this talk, we'll look specifically at comedy actors and explore whether their associations in one area (e.g., on stage) impact their associations or success in another (e.g., Hollywood).
Libby Hemphill is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Information Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She studies social media and collaboration and often relies on film and television to help her teach courses on social networks and communication. She is especially interested in the role of social media in public discourse, particularly among elected officials. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2001 and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. She was a visiting scholar in the Arizona State University College of Public Programs before returning to Chicago in 2010.