Lory Janelle Dance - An Educator, An Activist, and A Sociologist Walk Into A Bar..: Comic Relief or Racial/Ethnic Ridicule?

Lory Janelle Dance
October 17, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall - 160 East, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Resistance Studies Initiative Speaker Series Fall 2016
Distinguished researchers and activists share critical reflections on resistance issues

Lory Janelle Dance is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Dance received a B.A. from Georgetown University (1985), a Master’s Degree from Harvard University (1991), and a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1995). In regard to recent activities, Dance has been a Co-Principal Investigator for “The Middle East in the Contemporary World” (MECW) grant project, a multi-million research project funded by the Swedish Research Council and housed at Lund University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Lund, Sweden.

Dance’s most recent publications include “Performativity Pressures at Urban Schools in Sweden and New York,” published in Ethnography and Education in 2014, “Impoverished Clientele and Influential Institutions: Perspectives on Neighborhood Poverty near Harvard,” published in Sociology Compass in 2010 and “More Like Jazz Than Classical: Reciprocal Interactions Among Educational Researchers and Respondents,” published in Harvard Educational Review in 2010. Dance is currently completing a book manuscript titled Gone With the Neo-Liberal Wind: Minority Teens, School Reform, and Urban Change in Sweden and the U.S.

From 2011 to 2014, Dance served as the Co-Director for strategic research of the MECW grant mentioned above.  During the spring of 2010, Dance was awarded a Hedda Andersson fellowship from Lund University (LU). In honor of Hedda Andersson, the first female student to receive a degree from LU, this internationally competitive fellowship recognizes women doing cutting-edge scholarship.

Dance has established a symposium series called Streetposia. “Streetposia” refer to a series of cross-national symposia that use poetic expressions to engage youths from marginalized urban backgrounds in critical debates, empowering dialogues, and life changing experiences. With two capital cities of leading Western democracies as backdrop, namely Washington D.C. and Stockholm, Sweden, the Streetposia series provides a platform for addressing social justice issues.
For more information see www.streetposia.org and http://soc.unl.edu/lory-janelle-tomni-dance

While research publications about humor circulate primarily among academics (Ginsburg and Gorostiaga 2001; Blake and Ottoson 2009; Buchmann 1985), comedians who use comedy to counter racism reach broader audiences (Heuston 2005; Morris 2009; Beavers 2011).  When comedians, satirists, and/or humorists approach sensitive subjects in a manner that enhances critical thinking about social inequities, what are the secrets to their success? As Western nations experience increases in racism, which types of comedy, humor, and/or satire can be used to help us laugh with instead of at each other? Can humor/satire be used successfully to build dialogue across communities separated by racial/ethnic differences and/or within communities demoralized by racial/ethnic discrimination? And if so, how?

​Refreshments will be served
Open to All

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