Lady Problems: 21st Century Women and Comedy

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Sara Hosey/Northeastern Modern Language Association
contact email: 

In 2011, responding to a few famous men’s remarks that “women aren’t funny,” Tina Fey wrote, “It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don't like something, it is empirically not good. I don't like Chinese food, but I don't write articles trying to prove it doesn't exist.”

In recent years, it has only become more difficult to argue the nonexistence, irrelevance, or inferiority of women’s comedy. This panel will explore the explosion in women’s comedy, including in novels, memoirs, stand-up, television series, and political commentary.

Papers might focus on the work of writers including Maria Semple, Michelle Wolf, Hannah Gadsby, Ali Wong, Lindy West, and others. In what ways have women's contributions responded to women’s historical marginalization in comedy, and in what ways are women’s contributions reshaping our expectations around what it funny as well as what is taboo?

Abstracts of 250 words may be submitted to Sara Hosey at

Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2019.