Danna Young
Assistant Professor

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Dannagal Goldthwaite Young (PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2007) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her research interests include political media effects, public opinion, political satire and the psychology of political humor. Her work on the role and effects of late-night comedy in the changing political environment has been published in numerous journals including Media Psychology, Political Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Mass Media and Society.

 Recent Publications

Feldman, L. & Young, D. G. (forthcoming). Late-night comedy as a gateway to traditional news: An analysis of time trends in news attention among late-night comedy viewers during the 2004 Presidential primaries, Political Communication, forthcoming.

Young, D. G. (2010). Political Humor, The Encyclopedia of Political Science, forthcoming.

Hoffman, L. H. & Young, D. G. (2010). Political communication survey research: Challenges, trends, and opportunities. In E. Bucy and L. Holbert (Eds.), Political Communication Research: Methods, Measures, and Analytical Techniques. Routledge. forthcoming

Young, D. G. & Caplan, S. E. (2010). Online dating and Conjugal Bereavement, Death Studies, in press.

Polk, J., Young, D. G. & Holbert, R. L (2009). Humor Complexity and Political Influence: An elaboration likelihood approach to the effects of humor type in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Atlantic Journal of Communication, in press.

Young, D. G. (2009). A Response to Ruane and Cerulo, Sociological Forum, 24, 195-197.

Young, D. G. (2008). The privileged role of the late-night joke: Exploring humor’s role in disrupting argument scrutiny, Media Psychology, 11, 119 - 142.

Young, D. G. (2007). The Daily Show as new journalism. In J. S. Morris & J. C. Baumgartner (Eds.), Laughing Matters: Humor and American Politics in the Media Age. (pp. 241-259) New York: Routledge.



Courses Taught

Communication 245:  Mass Communication and Culture

This course explores the relationship between media and culture.  We will examine the history, functions, and industries of mass communication and will explore certain topics (technological convergence, consolidation of ownership, news economics, & media effects research) in depth. Students will acquire a broad understanding of how the mass media affect and interact with individuals and society.    


Communication 418/618:  Special Topics: Entertainment and Politics

For years politics and entertainment have had a flirtatious and tumultuous relationship.  Nixon's appearance on Laugh-in, to the political comedy of the Smothers Brothers, to the realistic presidential drama of The West Wing, to presidential candidate appearances on late-night comedy programs.  In this course, we will look at some examples of this relationship throughout history, with a specific focus on the latest trends in "politico-tainment" from 1992 to the present.   We will also examine the other side of this equation - that is, while politics is integrated into entertainment programs, so to are public affairs programs becoming more entertainment-oriented in both content and style. In an increasingly fragmented media environment with dwindling audience shares, news programs have been getting creative with their content and production choices - often incorporating more celebrity "news,"  more dramatic stories, more of the bizarre and unusual, and more coverage of entertainment. We will discuss both sides of this phenomenon, examine causes and effects of these trends, and critically examine the normative implications for citizenship and the healthy functioning of a democracy.


Communication 452/652:  Communication and Persuasion

 This course explores the fundamental processes of persuasion – including psychological, sociological, and communicative processes.  In doing so, we will consider various aspects of messages, both verbal and visual, and how these elements can influence attitudes, intentions, and behaviors.  We will explore each of these categories of persuasion techniques in detail and apply them to persuasion in the context of advertising and marketing, politics, and health campaigns.  In addition to acquiring skills as communication practitioners, we will also be exploring these processes as critical consumers of mass media – better understanding the tactics used by message senders to influence our attitudes, opinions, and behaviors.    

Communication 408: New Media Project Development

This course will integrate communication theory into the practice of web design, focusing on the social psychology of site usability. The course is designed to provide students in the New Media Minor an opportunity to apply their knowledge of design and programming to a project for an actual non-profit client. Students in this course should already have experience in and knowledge of web design and programming, as those will not be taught in this course. Instead, we will learn how to apply social science to the study of new media, review literature on communication and usability theory, and integrate our observations into the production of a website for a client.

Prereqs include Computer Science 103 and Art 307.

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Communication Department
University of Delaware
250 Pearson Hall
Newark, DE 19716

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Jo Kmetz
Jennifer Lambe
Barbara Ley
Steven Mortenson
Charles Pavitt
Elizabeth Perse
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Danilo Yanich
Danna Young

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