School of Education 2017 Spring/Summer Award

Proposal funded! "Comedic Counterstories: Performing Marginality" has been funded by the University of Michigan School of Education.


Research Questions

I have two questions that I would like to explore this summer:
1. What are some defining characteristics of a stand-up comedy set?
2. How do stand up comedians use performance to empower themselves and others?

In the first question I hope to learn more about the disciplinary practices of performance in general, and stand-up comedy in particular. Beyond identifying regularities within the performance community and the genre of stand-up comedy, I would like to explore how comedians of marginalized identities use performance as a subversive space. This second question is intimately entwined with the goals of diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity.

I hope that my findings from these two questions will contribute to a larger question than I would like to explore in later work:
3. How does creating a comedic counterstory help teens explore and express their marginalized identities and experiences?
Eventually, I would like to develop a program curriculum which works with teens to write and perform their own comedic counterstories in the form of stand-up comedy sets. Keeping this larger question in mind as I pursue the questions for my summer project will help to guide my work this summer.