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Comedy, Politics and Populism Panel and Performance

The Centre for Comedy Studies Research presents an online panel debate and performance that will explore the knotty and complex relationships between comedy, politics and populism by focussing on questions such as:

  • What role do comedians and satirists play in shaping public understandings of politics and populisms?
  • Does contemporary satire speak truth to power or is it complicit with political elites?
  • Are comedy, humour and jokes useful forms of communication for politicians?
  • Do politicians use jokes for their own advantage?;
  • What are the relationships between politicians, populists and comedians?

These questions, and more, will be hotly debated by a fantastic panel of experts including:

Sammy Basu: A Professor of History, Humanities and Public Health at Willamette University in Salem, OR, USA. His comments on comedy and populism will draw on a study of Trump's Twitter engagement with his followers leading up to the 2016 U.S. election

Don Biswas: A super slick gag merchant with a twist - covering left-wing politics as well as his own experiences of dyspraxia and Asperger's syndrome.

BlueLou: A political cartoonist who has worked on a range of publications including The Canary, The Guardian, The Independent, TES, The Morning Star and New Statesman.

Simon Weaver: Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications and a member of the Centre for Comedy Studies Research, at Brunel University London.

Alison Wilde: Currently teaching a module for Brunel, on politics, satire and comedy, and has written mainly on topics of screen media, disability, gender and audiences.

Chaired by Sharon Lockyer, Director of the Centre for Comedy Studies Research (Brunel University London)


Following the panel discussion, Don Biswas will treat us to a stand-up comedy performance.

For more information and joining instructions, please see HERE