Feminism and Controversial Humour

Broad City

Why is humour often so divisive? When and how are jokes about difficult or traumatic experiences productive and healing? Beginning with the assumption that humour can invite meaningful, pleasurable engagements with issues of privilege, power and difference, our group explores the possibilities and potential pitfalls of using humour in feminist teaching and performance and considers how established theories of laughter and comedy can contribute to an interdisciplinary feminist analysis of humour about violence and racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual difference. 


  • Danielle Bobker, Associate Professor, English
  • Gada Mahrouse, Associate Professor, Simone de Beauvoir Institute
  • Emer O’Toole, Assistant Professor, Irish Studies


Storytelling Workshop: humour & healing

Friday, March 8, 2019
11 am - 1.30 pm
Room LB-671.5

When are painful experiences also sort of funny? How can telling stories about our troubles — from systemic discrimination to bad haircuts — help us to better understand them, and each other? Join us to explore these questions at a storytelling workshop on Friday, March 8, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Our guest, local storyteller and recent Concordia English graduate Francesca Esguerra will perform for us then guide participants to draft and (for those who want) share our own micro-stories, drawing on exercises inspired by Confabulation’s “The Shortest Story” concept. Snacks will be served.

Sponsored by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, the workshop is free and open to all Concordia students, faculty, staff, and the Montreal community. As space is limited, email Danielle Babker to register.




FaCH on for better results!

The Feminism and Controversial Humour working group, now heading into its third year with CISSC, has two public conversations planned for the fall 2018 semester, both taking place in the beautiful McEntee Room in the Hall Building (H-1001.01).

On Friday, October 19 from 2-4 pm, we’ll view Australian stand-up comedian Hannah Gadsby’s critically acclaimed Netflix special, Nanette (2018), and then weigh in on its successes and shortcomings both as a performance and as a theory of comedy.


The Pleasures and Dangers of Political Humour Online

Friday, November 9 from 2-4 pm, in H-1001.01

When and how do you use humour when taking a stance on the Internet? How do you respond to racist or misogynist trolls and other sorts of politicized "joking" online? 

After you register at Eventbrite, you’ll receive a list of readings.

All are welcome. RSVP to danielle.bobker@concordia.ca to attend either event.

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