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About us

The Comedy Studies Research (CSR) is an international research team devoted to the academic study of comedy. As an interdisciplinary team we consider the production, content, reception and wider socio-political implications of comedy in a variety of formats and from a range of perspectives. The team successfully brings together leading academics and writers in the fields of media and communications, sociology, psychology, theatre, drama, film and television, computing, English, creative writing and social work.

Our research examines the production, content, reception and wider socio-political implications of comedy in its variety of formats from television sketch shows to comedy thrillers. All of our research and teaching is strongly underpinned by the belief that comedy is socially, culturally, politically and economically significant at local, national and international levels. Our work clusters around a number of overlapping themes that include:

  • Mediated and Live Comedy
  • Comedy and Identity
  • Comedy, Taboo and Offence
  • Comedy, Power and Ideology
  • Comic Novels

The team has strong links with the comedy industry and is supported by five CSR Ambassadors:

  • Jo Brand– Comedian, writer, actress and Brunel Honorary Graduate.
  • Nitin Ganatra– Actor (e.g. Eastenders and Mumbai Calling).
  • Lee Mack- Comedian, writer, actor and Brunel Honorary Graduate.
  • Simon Minty– Co-founder and Producer of Abnormally Funny People.
  • Geoff Rowe– Director & Founder of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.

 "I am really pleased to be an Ambassador for the Comedy Studies Research at Brunel University. As an ex Brunel student it's great to see that comedy is being taken seriously by the institution that provided me with many big laughs when I was there. I wish the team good luck for their future and apologise that there is no punchline to this."
~Jo Brand

Our aims

  • To promote and facilitate academic research on the comedy/society interface
  • Through a broad research agenda facilitate inter-disciplinary research that examines the ways in which comedy can be used un/seriously and positively and/or negatively in all spheres of society (in business, party politics, IT, health, education, identity politics, media, arts, law)
  • To contribute to debates relevant to industry and practitioners
  • To provide a hub for mentoring and developing research skills for research students
  • To provide graduate and undergraduate teaching that links to our main research interests