Professor Don Waisanen teaches courses in political communication and public advocacy with the School of Public Affairs. He is available to speak on a range of topics related to rhetoric and public affairs issues, including:
— Comedy, political humor, and irony, satire and parody in public culture
— Deliberative democracy, social movements, public campaigns and civic identities
— Social media
— Public speeches, debates, persuasion, and political strategies
Professor Waisanen’s work covers a wide range of topics, including transnational media campaigns, comedic contributions to civil society, church-state controversies, argumentation on social networking sites, and political conversion narratives. He has published in scholarly journals such as Communication Monographs, Communication Quarterly, Argumentation and Advocacy, the Southern Communication Journal, the American Communication Journal and Comedy Studies, and regularly contributes to Thick Culture, a blog formed by an interdisciplinary group of scholars.
Before entering academia, Professor Waisanen was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and worked in broadcast journalism, as a speechwriter and on various political campaigns. He also serves on the board of the Resilience Advocacy Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes efforts to help youth transition out of poverty. Outside of work, he regularly participates in performing arts activities, including improvisational comedy.
Professor Waisanen earned an B.A. from Westmont College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California.
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