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Ellie Tomsett

Ellie Tomsett

The Funny Face of Feminism: Women and Comedy in 21st Century Britain


Discipline/professional area
Humanities - Film

Outline of research project

The focus of this project is to research the ways in which the British live comedy industry has adapted to accommodate an increasing number of female comedians. This research will analyse the mechanisms, organisations and structures of the British stand-up comedy circuit, focusing on the inclusion and simultaneous marginalisation of women within the sector.

The current industrial context will be considered alongside analysis of live comedy routines devised and delivered by female comedians. This analysis will be situated within wider debates surrounding feminism and feminist humour in what is sometimes dubbed a ‘post- feminist’ age.

As part of this project new data will be collected from audiences and performers through collaboration with the Women in Comedy Festival U.K.

Key References

Barecca, Gina (2013). They Used to Call Me Snow White... But I Drifted: Women's Strategic Use of Humor. University Press of New England.

Friedman, Sam (2011). The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour: British Comedy and New Forms of Distinction. The British Journal of Sociology, 62 (2), 347-370.

Gilbert, Joanne (2004). Performing Marginality: Humor, Gender, and Cultural Critique. Wayne State University Press.

Gray, Frances B. (1994). Women and Laughter. University of Virginia Press.

Lockyer, Sharon and Myers, Lynn (2011). It’s About Expecting the Unexpected’: Live Standup Comedy From the Audiences’ Perspective. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 8 (2), 165-188.

Mintz, Lawrence E. (1985). Standup Comedy as Social and Cultural Mediation. American Quarterly, 37.

Director of studies
Dr Chi Yun Shin

Dr Suzanne Speidel
Jon Bridle

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