Sophia A. McClennen speaks nationally and internationally to media, journalists, educators, students, community groups, activists, and culture workers on a range of topics, including:

  • The social effects of political satire
  • The rise of satire news
  • Political polarization
  • How humor helps society
  • Misinformation, fake news and citizen knowledge
  • Satire and democracy
  • Satire and free speech
  • Satire consumption and civic engagement
  • Satire and hate speech
  • Satire and the alt-right
  • The positive effects of satirical activism (laughtivism)
  • Laughtivism and nonviolent social movements
  • Why satire is effective against autocrats
  • Satire and climate change
  • Satire and millennials
  • The role of satire in social media
  • The cognitive effects of consuming satire

McClennen is currently available for speaking engagements and media interviews, and can appear as an event presenter, a panelist at conferences or corporate events, and as a guest speaker at colleges, universities, and professional retreats.

Sophia McClennen say[s] very smart things about why satire matters and, well, is good for you.” –Len Niehoff

So cool! How #satire is helping cover #Trump” –UF Center for Public Interest Communications

Millennials can’t think about politics without satire"- Sophia McClennen –Annie Niemand

Satire is becoming our primary source of news today, explains Sophia McClennen.” –UF Center for Public Interest Communications

We need the satirists to help us unpack and make sense of the sensationalist news media" - Sophia McClennen –[Annie Niemand](Annie Niemand)

a very entertaining talk from Sophia A. McClennen from Penn State on political satire.” –David Hukka

Selected Video

SIA Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sophia McClennen

Where to Invade Next? Michael Moore’s New Film

O Poder da Sátira

Sophia McClennen: The Power of Satire

Political Satire on Cable TV and Social Media

Sanders Campaign Rally in University Park, Pennsylvania, Introduction

Scope with Waqar Rizvi | UN urges global migration policies review

Comedians have figured out the trick to covering Trump

Selected Previous Talks

“Don’t Look Up/Birds Aren’t Real: Comedy and Conspiracy” Society for Critical Exchange, Stockholm, Sweden, June 5, 2021

“No Laughing Matter: How Comedy Can Help Climate Action,” Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, March 26, 2022.

“The Rise of Satire News.” Featured speaker at NASH83, conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists, virtual, February 21, 2021.

“Laughtivism: The Role of Satire in Nonviolent activism.” Interdisciplinary Study Circle, Department of English, University of Gour Banga, virtual, February 1, 2021.

“Pranksters vs. Autocrats.” Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, virtual, November 10, 2021.

“The Power of Laughtivism and Dilemma Actions,” Center for Applied Actions and Strategies (CANVAS), Summer Academy, August 14, 2020.

“Political Correctness and Stifling Comedy” virtual panel discussion on “No Laughing Matter: Comedy, the Constitution, and Cancel Culture” for the Media Law Resource Center, May 21, 2020.

“Global Political Satire: A Case Study on Interdisciplinary Research” invited speaker at Stanford symposium on Lit +: A Conference on the State of the Interdisciplines, December 5-6, 2019.

“Satire, Politics, and Resistance,” invited speaker at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, October 18, 2018.

“Why Satire is Good for Democracy” invited speaker at “The State of Our Satirical Union” Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota, MN, April 21.

“Laughtivism: The Power of Satire” Special event organized by The College Arts & Humanities Institute at Indiana University, March 2, 2018.

“Comedy and Politics” Johns Hopkins Foreign Affairs Symposium, Baltimore, MD, February 22, 2018.

“Satire as a Career” Harvard Lampoon Alumni lecture, January 25, 2018.

“Satire and Journalism in the era of Fake News” December 4, 2017, keynote for the annual conference of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, Newcastle Australia.

“Trump is a Joke: Fake News, Satire News and Challenges to Democracy” June 15, 2017 ICEE fest in Bucharest, Romania.

“Why satire is the antidote to Trumpism,” Reporter Workshop organized by Der Spiegel, Hamburg Germany, May 19, 2017.

“Fake News, Public Trust, and Democracy” India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, May 10, 2017.

“The Future of Our Democracy: Satire, Social Media, and Millennials” Donald Sutherland Invited Speaker at St. Michael’s College, Vermont, March 2016.

“What’s Wrong with Slactivism?” Invited speaker at Indiana University Pennsylvania conference on Social Justice and the Humanities, February 26, 2016.

“Is Satire Saving Our Nation?” Lycoming College Scholars program invited speaker, September 29, 2015.

“Satire and Politics” Research Unplugged, Schlow Memorial Library, April 9. 2015.

“Is Satire Saving Our Nation?” Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, Colby College, March 18, 2015.

“The Power of Satire” Frank 2015: Communication and Social Change, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, February 26, 2015.

“Why Our Democracy Needs Stephen Colbert,” Stockton University, February 20, 2014.

“Can Satire Save Democracy? The Story of Stephen Colbert” PSU Alumni Association Huddle with the faculty, September 14, 2013.