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dc.contributor.authorRodgers, Lindsayen
dc.description.abstractLive feminist stand-up comedy, and the shared laughter it generates, is a potent form of popular cultural performance that has become increasingly politically relevant and commercially successful in contemporary North America. In this thesis, I take an interdisciplinary, mixed-method approach to studying the cultural and political work done by Ontario-based, women-identified stand-up comics and comedy producers. I engage with and extend the emerging field of critical comedy studies by drawing on a range of disciplines to analyze the affective politics of live feminist stand-up comedy. My position is informed by, and my writing integrates, the voices of contemporary and historical women-identified stand-up comics whom I have encountered through a variety of cultural texts, including: live and mediated performances, memoirs, interviews, histories, and anthologies. I interview a range of Ontario-based women-identified comics and critically reflect on performances I attended, recorded, and/or helped to produce. I focus in particular on explicitly feminist comedy events both produced and populated by women. These include: Yas Kween and SHADE, and those produced by the Hysterics Collective. I argue that in writing and performing live comedy, comics claim positions of epistemic authority and affective and discursive power. They position themselves as experts on their own lives and subject positions, and they claim to know what will (and how to) make an audience laugh. On stage, in these spaces of authority, comics maintain discursive control over how they present themselves and their experiences. This is a powerful position that counters processes of cultural and political abjection. In generating laughter, comics affect (and are affected by) their audiences. I theorize this circulation of affect as politically powerful and personally meaningful. I reject the notion that a joke could be objectively funny or a comic universally appealing, and instead problematize social constructions of women as unfunny. Through autoethnography and reception studies, I argue that “getting” the joke and finding it funny (or not) depends on our interpretive repertoires. Additionally, I show that generating laughter takes work—work that is at once alienating and affirming, and almost always precarious.en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United Statesen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
dc.rightsProQuest PhD and Master's Theses International Dissemination Agreementen
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dc.rightsCopying and Preserving Your Thesisen
dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectCritical Comedy Studiesen
dc.subjectStand-Up Comedyen
dc.subjectGender Studiesen
dc.titleNot a Joke: Women's work and feminist laughter in stand-up comedyen
dc.contributor.supervisorLord, Susanen
dc.contributor.supervisorDavies, Jacquelineen
dc.contributor.departmentCultural Studiesen's University at Kingstonen

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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States