CES 285 Comedy as Resistance • 5 Cr.


Explore how comedy, humor, and satire are used to address social problems and push back against dominant culture. Students will examine historic and contemporary comedic forms such as blackface minstrelsy, political cartoons, and stand-up comedies and analyze how they have been used to critique and disrupt social-cultural stereotypes and inequities. We will also investigate the boundaries, politics, and different distinctions around something being ?just a joke.? Satisfies either Social Science or Humanities credit.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the histories, theories, and functions of laughter and humor in the U.S. 
  • Explore how race, politics, social issues, economics, gender, and culture inform humor and learn what comedy teaches us about the self and society 
  • Critically analyze how humor and comedy are used to critique systems of power and inequities 
  • Reflect on how humor functions in one's own life and how laughter is prompted by socially constructed understanding of differences