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Webinar panel and performance: Comedy Matters - Performance, Power and Politics

The Centre for Comedy Studies Research (CCSR)​ warmly invites you to Comedy Matters: Performance, Power and Politics webinar panel and performance

 A fantastic panel of experts will examine the knotty and complex relationships between comedy, performance, power and politics. Following the panel, Kate Fox will perform A Northern, Non-mothering, Neurodivergent stand up spoken word medley.


Confirmed speakers and topics are:

Dr Simon Weaver (Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Brunel University London)

Images of populism and anti-populism in United Kingdom national newspaper cartoons about Brexit

This paper offers a semiotic analysis of a small sample of newspaper cartoons from the period immediately before and after the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on Friday 31st January 2020. Cartoons in four national newspapers are examined in the fortnight surrounding 31st January 2020, and an analysis is presented on the extent to which the cartoons focus on the documented themes of both Brexit and populisms more generally. Anti-populist readings of these themes are also considered.


Dr Kate Fox (researcher, comedian, poet and author)

Northerners, non-mothers and other others: Performing marginality in stand-up comedy


Kate Fox’s PhD looked at the ways Northern English female stand ups in particular use stand-up comedy as a resistant art form. In this presentation she shares some of those findings and also considers her recent practice and research on the representation of autism and neurodiversity in stand up.

Dr Sharon Lockyer (Reader in Sociology and Communications, Brunel University London) and Dr Sara De Benedictis (Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Communications, Brunel University London)

Performing pregnancy: Comic content, comic critique and ambivalence in ‘Pregnant Stand-up Comedy’

This presentation examines the cultural work of ‘pregnant stand-up comedy’. Analysis of performances by comedians such as Ali Wong and Amy Schumer illustrate how the pregnant body can be used simultaneously as comedy, content and critique. However, this is far from a straightforward process as ambivalence is central to ‘pregnant stand-up comedy’ performances, offering a productive way to understand the cultural and theoretical significances of such performances.


Chaired by Dr Sharanya Murali (Lecturer in Theatre, Brunel University London)


Following the panel, Kate Fox will perform A Northern, Non-mothering, Neurodivergent stand up spoken word medley: Short extracts from three of Kate Fox’s shows (as broadcast on Radio 4, performed in Northern English theatres and commissioned by the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival respectively)


We look forward to seeing you there. 

Please register via eventbrite​, and the event link will be sent automatically.