Symposium Information

The National Cultures of English-Language TV Comedy symposium is a go!

Hosted by the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway, the event will begin on 16 November at 6pm with a keynote address from Brett Mills, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia. The keynote will be open to the public (registration info to come) and followed by a reception and then dinner for the symposium participants.

Symposium papers will be delivered on Friday, 17 November. The day will begin at 8:30 with introductions, and at 9 we will start the first of four panels, with breaks for coffee/tea and lunch. We’ll wrap up the event by 4:30pm.

The invited participants and their paper titles are listed below, organized into panels. If any speakers have questions or concerns about their placement, please contact Christine Becker.

The symposium is made possible by generous funding and sponsorship from the University of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studiesthe Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters; and the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.


Panel 1: Crossing Comedic Borders
Marcus Free, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, “Finding and Eluding the ‘National’ in the Television Comedy and Commentaries of Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews”

Taylor Nygaard, University of Denver, and Jorie Lagerwey, University College Dublin, “Catastrophe and Transatlantic Horrible White People”

Heather Osborne-Thompson, California State University Fullerton, “Children’s TV Animation as Transnational Comedy”


Panel 2: Comedic Representation and Transnational Reception
David Scott Diffrient, Colorado State University, “‘Half the World Away’: Cultural Distance and Intertextual (In)Competence in the American Reception of British TV Comedy”

Clive Marsh, Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester, “Religion’s Public Visibility: The Big Bang Theory as a Test-Case”

Philip Scepanski, Marist College, “Something in a Lighter Vein: Parody and Affective History Across Borders”

Panel 3: Transnational Comedy Television in Post-Communist Cultures
Anna Martonfi, University of East Anglia, “From Sitcom to Flying Circus: Cultural Negotiation Tactics and the Trope of English Humour”

Julia Havas, University of East Anglia, “‘Alec Baldwin is a genius, Tina Fey is tolerable’: Issues of Nation and Gender in the Hungarian Critical and Popular Reception of 30 Rock

Gábor Gergely, University of Lincoln, “Anti-German stereotypes in Black-Adder and Fekete Vipera

Panel 4: Comedy and National Tensions
Emma Radley, University College Dublin, “Céad Míle Zombies: Recession, Austerity, and Apocalypse in Conor McMahon’s Zombie Bashers (RTÉ, 2010)”

Nicole Seymour, California State University Fullerton, “National Critiques of Environmentalism in Contemporary TV Comedy”

Mark Stewart, University of Amsterdam, “Funny Girls: Making Feminist Comedy in New Zealand”