Registration Open: ‘Comedy and Mental Health: Future Directions’, Kent, 1 May 2019

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Date: 1-6 pm, 1 May 2019

Location: Aphra Theatre, University of Kent 

Closing Date for Registration: 20 April 2019

The “Theatre and Performance Research Cluster” and the “Identities, Politics and the Arts Research Cluster” in the School of Arts at the University of Kent warmly invite you to:

Comedy and Mental Health: Future Directions

1 May 2019, 1-6pm, Aphra Theatre, University of Kent

At this event, eight speakers from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds will deliver short presentations on what they consider the most pressing questions and challenges for future research on mental health and comedy, especially stand-up comedy. The event is designed to stimulate further research into comedy and mental health by identifying new research topics, exchanging methodological strategies and explore interdisciplinary and collaborative research. All welcome.

There are no registration fees, but please email Dieter Declercq ( by 20 April to register.


Dr Dieter Declercq, Assistant Lecturer in Film and Media, University of Kent

Dr Matt Hargrave, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, University of Northumbria

Caitlin Hogan, Stand-up Comedian, Ohio University

Dr Sharon Lockyer, Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Communications, University of Brunel

Prof Mary Luckhurst, Head of School of Arts, University of Bristol

Dr Shaun May, Senior Lecturer in Drama, University of Kent

Lynne Parker, CEO Funny Women

Dr Nicola Streeten, Illustrator and Graphic Novelist


13:00- 14:30 Session 1
Dr Dieter Declercq: “Comedy, Humour and Mental
Health. An Attempted Overview and Some New Directions.”
Dr Sharon Lockyer: “Notes on Future Research Directions in Stand-up Comedy and Mental Health.”
Dr Shaun May: “Taking of the Mask and Laughing: Autistic
Humour, Passing and Mental Health.”
Session 2
Dr Nicola Streeten: “When Is It OK to Laugh at Comics and
Cartoons About Mental Health Issues?”
Prof Mary Luckhurst: “Women Stand-Ups, Self-Denigrating
Comedy and Mental Wellbeing.”
Cait Hogan: “Working Through Trauma in Dark Comedy
without Self-Degradation.”
Session 3
Lynne Parker: “Has the Growth of Stand-Up Comedy
Contributed to Greater Awareness of Mental Health Issues?”
Dr Matt Hargrave: “The Use of Comic Persona in Stand-Up
Comedy and Mental Health.” 

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