Assistant Professor
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Kanu studies the role of humor and satire in democratic participation, news sharing, and individual political agency in democratic contexts, with a comparative focus on the United States and South Asian countries. Kanu uses a combination of quantitative experimentational techniques to investigate the psychological mechanisms underlying media effects on democratic citizenry.


Prateekshit (pruh-TEEK-shit), who goes by Kanu (kuh-noo), is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication at UCSB, and specializes in political communication. His active research program uses computational methods (e.g. network analysis), survey experiments, and neuroimaging techniques to investigate the effects of political entertainment, especially humor and satire, on democratic participation, news sharing, and individual political agency, with comparative focus between the United States and South Asian contexts. On various aspects of this program, he has led and collaborated on several online experimental surveys and neuropsychological studies with fluency in advanced computational analyses (R, Python), as well as peer-reviewed publications in broad interest journals including Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, and field-specific journals such as Journal of Communication, International Journal of Communication, and Health Psychology. Before joining UCSB, Kanu completed his Ph.D. in the Summer of 2022 at the Annenberg School for Communication at UPenn, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow, appointed jointly between the Communication Neuroscience Lab and the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication. Complementing his academic work on humor, Kanu is also a professional improvisational comedian. Between 2019 and 2023, he was part of ensembles at Comedy Sportz Philadelphia, where he performed and taught improvisational comedy.


Ph.D. (2022), University of Pennsylvania, Communication

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