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Public Webinar Series: Comedy Matters - Hope and Anxiety in Times of Crisis

Comedy Matters - Hope and Anxiety in Times of Crisis
Dr Simon Weaver and Dr Sharon Lockyer


What does comedy reveal about our response to tumultuous times? Our experts discuss comedy as a mechanism for populism and anti-populism in the context of Brexit, and for managing fear and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. What role does comedy play in times of crisis?


Images of populism and anti-populism in newspaper cartoons about Brexit
Dr Simon Weaver


Simon will discuss a small sample of newspaper cartoons from the period immediately before and after the United Kingdom left the European Union on Friday 31st January 2020. The themes of populism and anti-populism will be discussed in parallel to a consideration of how the cartoons display images of hope and anxiety.


Dr Simon Weaver is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at Brunel. He is currently writing a book on the relationship between populism and comedy. Previous research has examined racist and offensive joking, and the use of humour as rhetoric.


Comedy in times of crisis: The case of COVID-19
Dr Sharon Lockyer


Sharon will consider the roles of comedy in response to crises by reflecting on how digital comedy has been created and shared during the COVID-19 global pandemic and considering how it may serve as a mechanism to manage fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19.


Dr Sharon Lockyer is a Reader in Sociology and Communications and the founding director of the Centre for Comedy Studies Research (CCSR) at Brunel University London. She is interested in the ethics and aesthetics of comedy, inequality and cultural representation.


​Register your interest for this public webinar, via this eventbrite​​, and a link to the Zoom stream will be sent automatically in advance of the session​.