I have conducted multi-sited research in comedy clubs across the Midwest, including parts of Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio, which focuses on the role of live stand-up comedy in articulating and at times challenging the audience’s conceptions of racial difference. Reflecting upon my participant-observation, interviews of audience members and comedians, and focus groups, I am discovering how the artistic medium of stand-up and the permissive space of comedy clubs facilitates this open negotiation of “authentic” ethnic and racial identities.
My current field work (2018-2019) expands upon this line of inquiry by considering how local/regional culture, motivation for comedy club attendance, and the presence of a stand-up comedy culture/community intersect to create variability in audience receptivity to social justice-oriented comedy.
Below are citations of published articles currently available on this research. I have provided a CV for a complete list of my research endeavors and publications as well as links to the pdfs of the Author Manuscripts for these articles.
- DeCamp, Elise. 2017. “Negotiating Race in Stand-up Comedy: Interpretations of ‘Single Story’ Narratives.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture, 23(3): 326-342.
- DeCamp, Elise. 2015. “Humoring the Audience: Performance Strategies and Persuasion in American Midwestern Stand-up.” HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research, 28(3): 449–467.