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Title: Stand up and be (en) countered : resistance in solo stand-up performance by Northern English women marginalised on the basis of gender, class and regional identity
Author: Fox, Kathryn Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This practice-led thesis takes the standpoint of a female, Northern English stand-up poet to look at how the stand-up form can articulate and resist marginality. It draws on my professional stand-up practice to explore how class, gender and Northern English regional identity are intertwined in stand-up performance and how a “Northernness Effect”, based on historic conceptions of a subaltern North of England, impacts on representations of Northern stand-up performers. The pieces of practice I focus on include a comedy show about class that I recorded for Radio 4 and a performance autoethnography. This thesis is underpinned by original empirical research, including ethnographic interviews with 27 Northern performers and a content analysis of 260 newspaper comedy reviews. Under-researched moments of “in-betweenness” in the art form of stand-up and the positions of marginalised practitioners are highlighted in order to analyse the form as a dialogical site both for intimate, intersubjective encounter and for struggles which counter pervasive classed and gendered stereotypes. The dialogic nature of stand-up is illustrated within the thesis itself by the use of an interrupting voice which thinks it is hilarious and owes a lot to Bakhtin’s theories of carnival and heteroglossia. The resistant possibilities of various stand-up postures are explored. The “scholar stand-up” is proposed as an addition to Joanne Gilbert’s five types of female comic performance posture. In addition, the resistant possibilities of the archetypes of the “unruly woman” and the “female trickster” are posited as generative for female stand-ups grappling with the complexities of living social mobility and marginality. The thesis also asserts that stand-up can function as an academic methodology and critical pedagogy, particularly when used as autoethnography. It therefore suggests “humitas” as a new word for humorous performative utterances, in order to counter readings of humour as “only” play or lacking in efficacy.
Supervisor: Kapsali, Maria ; Allen, Kim Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available