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Comedy and Research: An Oxymoron or Natural Bedfellows?

The ‘Beyond a Joke’: Comedy and Critical Thought’ seminar series will examine the complex and dynamic relationship between comedy, critical thought, education practice and research practice and includes a number of exciting speakers. It is a collaboration with the Centre for Comedy Studies Research and the Department of Education at Brunel University London.
Our first panel seminar - which coincides with the Centre for Comedy Studies Research (CCSR) 5th anniversary - is Comedy and Research: An Oxymoron or Natural Bedfellows?Comedy and Research: An Oxymoron or Natural Bedfellows?
What are the roles of comedy in shaping and contributing to research methodologies and research dissemination and impact strategies? Does comedy make research inclusive/exclusive? Does comedy facilitate community engagement with academic research and its impact? How successful can researchers be with comedy and what are the limits of comedy in research? What skills do comedians bring into research? These questions, and more, will be explored by a panel of experts at the Comedy and Research: An Oxymoron or Natural Bedfellows? panel seminar.

Speakers include:
Alison Browne: is a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Manchester. Alison’s research focuses on the social, material and governance dynamics of everyday life related to water, energy and food in the UK, Australia and China. Her research into the significance of humour in academic research was published in 2016 as ‘Can people talk together about their practices? Focus groups, humour and the sensitive dynamics of everyday life’ in Area.
Steve Cross: is an international stand-up comedian and an award-winning public engagement and communication consultant, trainer and strategist. Steve is a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association and advises on public engagement projects across Europe. Steve was the Head of Public Engagement at University College London (UCL) where he founded Bright Club.
Kate Fox: is a stand-up poet, comedian, writer and practice-based researcher. Kate has published a number of papers and book chapters on comedy and performance. In her 2016 article entitled ‘Confetti and red squirrels: A stand-up autoethnography as an archive of detritus’ in Comedy Studies, Kate uses creative audience response methods, involving comedy, to create new insights into performance research.
Max Kinnings: is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University London, where he teaches screenwriting and comedy writing. Max is a novelist and screenwriter. Max is the author of four novels (Hitman, The Fixer, Baptism and Sacrifice) and a number of screenplays in various stages of development. A ten-year collaboration and friendship with actor/comedian, Rik Mayall, involved Max becoming the ghost-writer on Rik's best-selling 2005 spoof autobiography Bigger Than Hitler Better Than Christ.
Chaired by Sharon Lockyer, Director of the Centre for Comedy Studies Research (CCSR) and Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Communications, Brunel University London.

Everyone very welcome. We look forward to you joining us for a lively discussion and for celebrating our 5th anniversary!
Please email Comedy.Studies@brunel.ac.uk to reserve your place.