Comedians, Clowns, and Critical Thought

Dr Iain MacKenzie speaks about his new book, 'Comedy and Critical Thought: Laughter as Resistance', an investigation of the little-explored dynamic between comedy and critical thought.

Dr Iain MacKenzie, lecturer in Politics and a founding director of the Centre for Critical Thought (CCT), along with colleagues from the Kent School of Arts, has edited a new book exploring the questions that arise at the intersection of comedy and critical thought.
Explaining his motivations, Dr MacKenzie says ‘I was drawn into the project by my co-editors Kri and Fred and the work Fred had done with one of our contributors, Dieter. Their respective research interests in punk, cartoons and the Simpsons already brought questions of comedy, resistance and critique to the fore and, together with my own love of comedians like Stewart Lee, it was too good an opportunity to pass up when they suggested that we work on the conference that then became the collection.’
‘We needed to set the agenda for the relationship between comedy and critical thought.’
MacKenzie believes this publication will appeal to a wide audience of academics in critical thought, performance and comedy studies, and explains that it ‘brings together scholars from many different disciplines to carve out a new domain of inquiry between comedy and critical thought. Plural in subject matter and approach, the essays view this domain from their own perspectives, but the cumulative effect is of a collage greater than the sum of its parts.’

Watch an interview with the authors here.