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 recent 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.
I have also conducted collaborative research from 2019-2021 that investigates the issue of racial bias and discrimination in jury selection in the United States through publicly available datasets.
Below are citations of published articles currently available on both of these areas of 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, Whitney and Elise DeCamp. 2020. "It's Still About Race: Peremptory Challenge Use on Black Jurors." Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 57(1): 3-30.
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.