CfP: Mock the Weak: Comedy and the Politics of Representation, 14th-15th September 2016

Mock the Weak: Comedy and the Politics of Representation


14th-15th September 2016, Teesside University/ARC Stockton

Comedy is an ambivalent medium that ranges from the reactionary and conservative to the radical and subversive. It has both a political role in entrenching or overturning existing hierarchies of power, and a psychological one, in giving voice to taboo topics. At a time when questions related to comedy (regarding the limits of free speech, the power dynamic inherent in joking, and the representation of minority groups frequently othered in mainstream discourse) are increasingly prominent in political debate and news journalism, this conference makes space for academic debate to lead the conversation. This conference aims to bring together delegates from a range of disciplines and covering a spectrum of research interests, united by the common strand of representational techniques employed in comedy in its various guises (as stand-up performance, written or visual text, or joking utterance).

Confirmed Keynotes:

Dr Sharon Lockyer “Reversing Disability Discourses in Live Comic Performance”

Dr Anshuman Mondal “Taking Liberties? Free speech, multiculturalism and the ethics of satire”

Also Included:

Ø  An evening of stand-up comedy by comedian and disability rights campaigner Laurence Clark

Ø  Student performance of NSFW

Ø  Comedy writing workshop with Eddie Robson (writer of BBC Radio 4’s Welcome to Our Village: Please Invade Carefully)

Ø  Social media for academia postgraduate workshop with Dr Nadine Muller

Ø  Publishing workshop for postgraduates and ECRs with Dr Rosie White

Please see the attached CFP for further information or contact the conference organisers (Sarah Ilott and Helen Davies) at

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