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Title: Performing the comic side of bodily abjection: A study of twenty-first century female stand-up comedy in a multi-cultural and multi-racial Britain
Authors: Blunden, Pamela
Keywords: First generation comics;Transnational comics;Funny women organization;Female audience;History of stand-up comedy
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University School of Arts PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis is a socio-cultural study of the development of female stand-up comedy in the first decade of the twenty-first century within a multi-racial and multi-cultural Britain. It also engages with the theory and practice of performance and asks the question: ‘In what ways can it be said that female stand-up comics perform the comic side of bodily abjection?’ This question is applied to three groups of female case-studies which include: those who came into stand-up comedy in the 1980s; second-generation transnationals who became established at the end of the twentieth century; and twenty-first century newcomers to stand-up comedy. This third group also includes the author of this thesis who uses her own embodied experience as research, and Lynne Parker whose Funny Women organization was set up in 2002 to facilitate female entry into stand-up comedy. Alongside these three groups the subject of females as audience of female stand-up comedy is also explored. The issue of bodily abjection is explored in relation to seminal works on abjection by Julia Kristeva (1982) and Mary Douglas (1966) and regarding theories of the grotesque as posited by Mikhail Bakhtin (1984) and Mary Russo (1995). These texts are used in this thesis to argue that abjection is a significant aspect of both the context and content of contemporary female stand-up comedy and that the orifices, surfaces and processes of the body are still pertinent to twenty-first century female stand-up comedy.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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