Public Lecture by Rebecca Krefting

Hannah Gadsby: Emotional Capital and Affective Economies in Stand-Up Comedy

Rebecca Krefting (Skidmore College, USA; President of the American Humor Studies Association)

November 10, 2022 at 4 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Uni Szeged)

Being a stand-up comedian requires skills: the ability to craft jokes and perform them; the capacity to “read the room” and adapt material during the performance; and facility with networking with fellow comics and industry gatekeepers. Comedians are performers as much as they are business entrepreneurs for their own brand. Negotiating these demands requires emotional capital, a concept connected to but departing from Pierre Bourdieu’s notions of cultural and social capital. Emotional capital “is a tripartite concept composed of emotion-based knowledge, management skills, and capacities to feel that links self-processes and resources to group membership and social location.” (Cottingham 2016, 452). Like other forms of capital, it is unequally distributed and identity-contingent. High levels of performances of emotional capital can inform success by ensuring good working relationships with others in the industry and developing content that will effectively elicit laughter across communities. Comics attuned to patterns of comedy patronage understand that they are selling entertainment as well as an emotional experience and learn to comply with affective dictates of this performance genre. But not all comics are compliant, nor can they be when affective demands posing as natural are meant to favor cis-gendered, heterosexual white men. By contrast, Tasmanian native Hannah Gadsby is a gender non-conforming, neurodiverse, white, lesbian stand-up comedian whose very existence in comedy venues as well as the comic material itself troubles traditional constructions of emotional capital necessary for effective comedy performance while simultaneously defying the emotions typically demanded from comic performances. She resists and is sometimes unable to deploy the kinds of emotional capital presumed necessary for securing success in the industry. Gadsby’s perceived deficiencies in emotional capital, tells us much about the ascendant affective economies circulating today—in green rooms and on stages across the world.

Cottingham, Marci D.  2016. “Theorizing Emotional Capital,” Theory and Society 45 (5): 451-470.

Rebecca Krefting, who goes by Beck, is Professor of American Studies and Director of the Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning. Her research specializations are feminist comedy studies; histories and historiographies of stand-up comedy; preppers and post-apocalyptic cultural texts; and pedagogical studies. Her monograph titled: All Joking Aside: American Humor and Its Discontents (Johns Hopkins UP) charts the history and economy of charged humor or humor aimed at social justice. She has published dozens of articles about stand-up comedy in edited collections, academic journals, and public forums and has presented nationally and internationally at universities and comedy symposiums, most recently at Dresden University of Technology and Leipzig University in Germany.

NYIM17: Feminizmus és emlékezet

2022-ben a TNT Társadalmi Nemek Tudománya Kutatócsoport tizenhetedik alkalommal rendezi meg éves NYIM: Nyelv, Ideológia, Média konferenciáját, melynek célja a magyarországi, illetve magyarnak tételeződő társadalmi és kulturális gyakorlatok, jelenségek és reprezentációk lokális sajátosságainak globális keretbe helyezett vizsgálata – ezúttal a ’gender’ és az ’emlékezet’ fogalmainak összefüggéseire koncentrálva. Szeretettel várjuk vissza a korábbi konferenciák résztvevőit és hívjuk mindazokat, akik újonnan szeretnének csatlakozni hozzánk. Részleteket az konferencia oldalán olvashatók.


The next RINGS (The International Research Association of Institutions of  Advanced Gender Studies) Conference, “Forging New Solidarities: Networks of (Academic) Activism and Precarity”, and General Assembly is held in Budapest (on-site and online) on October 25-26, 2021. The event is co-organized by RINGS, Gender Studies Department, Central European University, Vienna, Democracy Institute, Central European University, Budapest and TNT, Gender Studies Research Group, University of Szeged. The 2021 RINGS conference proposes to address the question of precarity on various levels, from theoretical to more experience-based research, with a focus on Covid-19. Extended deadline for abstract submission: July 31, 2021. For further information please visit the RINGS conference site.

Kaffka-díj átadás 2021

Örömmel értesítünk mindenkit, hogy a Kaffka Margit-díjat a kuratórium első alkalommal Prof. Vasvári O. Louise-nak, a Stony Brook, New York Egyetem professzor emeritájának ítélte oda. Szívből gratulálunk!
A Kaffka Margit-díj magyarországi, illetve az államhatáron túl (diaszpórában) élő magyar nők és feministák életét, mozgalmait, történelmi és politikai küzdelmeit, nemzetközi kapcsolatait, illetve az ezeket megjelenítő kulturális, irodalmi, képzőművészeti és médiareprezentációkat gender/szexualitás szempontból kutató tudósok, vagy a nemzetközi feminista elméletek és kutatás eredményeit meghonosító, azokat újragondoló kutatók kiemelkedő teljesítményét elismerő évente odaítélt díj.
A díjat a TNT, a Szegedi Tudományegyetem Társadalmi Nemek Tudománya Kutatócsoportja 2019-ben alapította és gondozza. A díjat a kutatócsoport minden év szeptemberében rendezett konferenciáján adja át a kuratórium elnöke.
A Covid-19 járvány miatt a 2020-ban első alkalommal elnyert díjat 2021. február 19-én adjuk át kivételesen online.

‘A Language for the Dis/Possessed’ Workshop

TNT is honoured and happy to host Dr. Andrea Zittlau from the American Studies Department, University of Rostock, Germany. Andrea is a scholar, a poet, and a performance artist, who is going to run a Workshop for our students interested in Gender Studies, entitled The Language for the Dis/possessed.

Time and venue: May 15-17, 2019 (Wednesday-Thursday-Friday), from 1 to 5 pm, Room III (Faculty of Arts building).

Sometimes we have something to say but lack the language to express our concerns, desires, opinions. At other times, we open our mouths and had no idea that we had housed a scream. This workshop aims to provide a language, a way of communicating disaster, crisis and joy, to give voice to those who need to be heard and sometimes that voice is silence. Departing from poetry and writing, we will involve our bodies, the spaces around us and anything else we can find to ask questions rather than looking for answers. We will learn to navigate discomfort and map the unknown. Please come in comfortable clothing and bring pen and paper.

If you are interested in the previous workshops hosted by TNT, see our workshop archive page.

Workshop on Feminism and Islam

Since the number of MA and PhD students from North Africa and the Middle East is growing, TNT has invited  Dr Nadia Jones-Gailani to run a workshop on how she has designed courses on Feminism and Islam and on the broader context of from where the ideas come, and why these are part of a broader feminist discourse. The workshop will be held on December 7, 2018, from 2 p.m. in Room 3 of the Institute of English and American Studies.

Who’s Afraid of Islamic Feminism? Teaching at the Intersections of Faith and Feminism

The presentation will outline attempts at constructing and deconstructing Islamic feminism as a site of analysis and practice applicable to the lives of Muslim women. This talk opens from the premise of teaching at the intersections of faith and feminism from within a liberal academic framework. Using personal and collected narratives, the presentation will explore what it means as a hybrid woman of colour within the Academy to introduce two perceived antithetical concepts – Islamic faith practices and feminist theory – as a classroom forum to debate feminist practice. The talk gives a brief introduction to the basic premises that are explored in Jones-Gailani’s MA course on Islamic feminism: can there be a feminism grounded in Islam, and in what ways are there specifically ‘Islamic’ forms of feminist practice? The workshop will facilitate a discussion with the participants on why prompting the question of an ‘Islamic feminism’ reveals the multiple meanings that this convergence holds for Islam and feminism, two intellectual paradigms that impact the lives of Muslim women.

Nadia Jones-Gailani is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Gender and History at Central European University in Budapest. Having graduated in 2013, she took up a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of History at the University of South Florida (2013-2016). She recently submitted her first book manuscript for publication with the University of Toronto Press. The book explores the memories and identities of Iraqi women refugees who have resettled in Jordan, Canada and the U.S. over the past three decades. With a new focus on Muslim feminism(s) and women’s political subjectivity in the Modern Arab World, her research interests focus on individual life histories and what these can tell us about women’s day-to-day experiences of war, loss, and displacement.

Doktori védés (Tóth Andrea)

A TNT Kutató Csoport örömmel hívja meg a kar oktatóit és hallgatóit Tóth Andrea PhD értekezésének védésére 2017. november 10-én, 12:00-kor a Kari Konferencia teremben.

A dolgozat címe: Elmozduló jelentések: A feminista irodalomkritika fogalmainak újragondolása az Éjszakai állatkert és a Szomjas oázis recepciójának tükrében