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Stand-Up Politics? Populism, comedy and popular culture.

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LSB 01.21

University of East Anglia

Norwich Research Park

Norwich

NR4 7TJ

United Kingdom

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To mark the publication of Russell Brand: Celebrity, Comedy, Politics (Arthurs and Little, 2016), this half-day symposium will bring together a wide range of thinkers for an interdisciplinary exploration of the contemporary relationship between stand-up comedy, politics and protest movements. While there has always been a connection between humour and politics, stand-up comedy as a cultural form has become increasingly central to political expression and protest. Stand-up has produced some high profile political activists such as Russell Brand and Beppe Grillo, but it has also shaped the logic of formal politics, with the increasing importance of the joke in contemporary political discourse being seen in everything from PMQs to Donald Trump’s twitter feed. In the wider context of rising populisms of left and right, this half-day event will assess how productive relationships between comedians and activism can be forged to create new political possibilities in the face of accusations of cynicism, trivialisation and simplification in the interaction between stand-up and the political.

Schedule

12.30 arrive and register

1 pm Introduction

1.15 -2.45 Panel 1 – Russell Brand

Keir Milburn (Leicester): ‘What does it mean when comedians become political leaders?’

Jane Arthurs (Middlesex): ‘Russell Brand's Stand-up and the Politics of Emotion

Ben Little (UEA): ‘Activist Assemblages: Comparing Russell Brand and UK Uncut

Ellen Watts (RHUL): ‘ ”If he cares so much, why doesn’t he buy the estate?” What role can comedians play in contesting the housing crisis in the UK?


3 – 4.15 Panel 2 – Politics, Comedy and Citizenship

Sanna Inthorn (UEA): ‘Popular culture and political engagement’

Paolo Gerbaudo (KCL): ‘Comic populism: the case of the 5 Star Movement’

Sylvia Shaw (Westminster): ‘PMQs as Stand-Up: Linguistic style and humour in Corbyn-May parliamentary exchanges’


4.30 -6pm Panel 3 – Comedy Politics

Sharon Lockyer (Brunel): ‘Stand-up Comedy as Disability Activism? Exploring the Creative Political Possibilities’

Beccy Collings (UEA): ‘Newspaper column or political stand-up routine? Frankie Boyle in the Guardian’

Jenny Young (TV Compliance): ‘From stage to small screen: How regulation and policy shape television comedy’

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Date and Time

Location

LSB 01.21

University of East Anglia

Norwich Research Park

Norwich

NR4 7TJ

United Kingdom

View Map

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