Rebecca Krefting, assistant professor of American Studies, was chosen by the graduates to deliver the commencement remarks. A former stand-up comic and improv actress, Krefting is widely interdisciplinary in her interests, exploring in her teaching and research such diverse areas as women’s history and literature, diversity and identity, popular culture, U.S. humor and the history of comic performance.
She is currently working on a monograph titled: All Joking Aside: American Humor and Its Discontents (Johns Hopkins University Press). In this examination of 21st-century stand-up comedy, Krefting establishes a new genre of comedic production—charged humor—and charts its pathways from production to consumption.
Teaching a civic-engagement course last fall that explored the lives of women who through history have worked for social change and justice, Krefting worked with students in organizing "FemFest," a fundraising event for Camp Little Notch, a girls’ camp in Fort Ann. Her students visited the camp, met with staff there, and got a firsthand feel for its mission and goals.