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Smith A. The Radical Potential of Women's Comedy: Laughter, Transgression, Transformation. 2010.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/6935
The Radical Potential of Women's Comedy: Laughter, Transgression, Transformation
This study analyses nine episodes of an annual women's comedy festival as a case study in contemporary radical feminism, constructing the festival and its participants as an example of grassroots social activism. These activities took place in an Australian rural city between 2000 and 2009. My involvement in the unfolding events began as an instigator but became a as participant observer documenting a reflexive process that eventually incorporated library and internet searches, reading, interviewing and ongoing conversations with festival participants, audiences surveys and analysis of their responses, reflecting and writing about incidents, and then discussing, re-thinking and re-writing in order to gain some understanding of the implications of this festival. As pluriphonic research the study is situated within the voices of the women who organise feminist arts events, the women who politicise their personal experiences through women's comedy performance, the transformative power of women's laughter, the radical feminist tradition of arts spectacle as non-violent protest and consciousness-raising, and the Maiden, Mother and Crone archetypes of Goddess mythology. A fundamental premise of the study is that what distinguishes radical feminist humour as theory is its focus on disrupting power relations and transforming oppressive social relations.