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BUCOMCON 2017 : Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy Conference


When Apr 5, 2017 - Apr 8, 2017
Where Bucknell University
Submission Deadline Jan 3, 2017
Categories    ethics   aesthetics   comedy   social and political

Call For Papers

Call for Papers
Submission Deadline: January 3, 2017
Online Registration Until: March 10, 2017

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy Conference will bring together scholars and practitioners interested in stand-up comedy from a range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to philosophy, performance studies, women's and gender studies, African-American studies, theatre, art history, and culture studies.

In addition to academic papers, panels, comments, and discussion, the conference also includes workshops, an open mic night, roundtable discussions with comedians, and stand-up comedy performances.

We invite submissions for paper presentations, thematic panels, workshops, and offers to serve as commentator or chair. Submissions are welcome on any topic in the aesthetics and ethics of stand-up comedy, broadly construed.

POSSIBLE TOPICS INCLUDE (but are by no means limited to):

Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy: theories of humor, satire, irony, style, theories of emotion and affect, self-conscious emotions (shame, embarrassment, guilt, pride), reflections on the state of the art, relations with other arts (e.g., poetry, spoken word, pantomime, music, improv), analyses of joke structure, boundaries of aesthetic taste, appropriation and originality, case studies of particular stand-up comedians, cross-cultural comparisons, historical reflections on the art form, public persona and comic identity.

Ethics/Social Political Issues of Stand-up Comedy: alternative stand-up comedy, political stand-up comedy, ethnic humor, identity (gender, race, age, etc.) and performance, racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, bigotry, feminism, anti-racism, censorship, law, political correctness, agency and subversion, nationalism, stereotypes and tropes, political efficacy and limitations, the politics of representation, the ethics of heckling, hostility, aspects of identity in stand-up comedy, such as race, ethnicity, ability, gender, sexuality, ability, age, and/or class, performance and appreciation, social movements/activism.

SUBMISSIONS AND OFFERS TO PARTICIPATE: Please send either a 3000-word full paper draft or a 1000-word extended abstract outlining the paper, workshop, or panel via the conference website: Include the paper/panel/workshop title, contact information and current affiliation (if any) of all participants. Please bear in mind that the papers should be suitable for a twenty-minute presentation; panels for less than 90 minutes; and workshops from 60-120 minutes. Submissions will be evaluated for their clarity of content, strength of central arguments, relevance to the conference themes, and potential interest and use of content.

ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSIVITY: We are adopting the BPA/SWIP-recommended good practices. We aim to host an inclusive conference and we will do our best, within our budgetary constraints, to accommodate all participants. We are committed to lowering the barrier of participation for disabled participants and will do our best to make the conference fully accessible and welcoming. To this end we will anticipate needs and aim to make accommodations in response to all requests. Upon acceptance of proposals, participants will be invited to identify any needs in this regard. Childcare will be made available as needed. In the meantime, please feel free to email with any questions or suggestions.

GRADUATE STUDENTS AND UNDERWAGED ACADEMICS: We will provide travel assistance, within our budgetary constraints, for student and unwaged academics. Upon acceptance of proposals, participants will be invited to identify any needs in this regard. In the meantime, please feel free email us to with any questions or suggestions.

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