United Kingdom, Leeds

Exploring the Performing Arts: Comedy in Britain

when 8 July 2019 - 19 July 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 5 EC
fee GBP 1770

For centuries, the work of professional comedy performers has formed an important part of Britain's cultural industries: from the travelling fairs of the early modern period to the internationally enjoyed antics of Mr Bean. Jokes and laughter are part of everyday life, with the power to unite people across cultural boundaries. But humour can also highlight cultural differences, and reinforce social hierarchies. This module will explore the history and politics of humour by focusing on popular performance in Britain, from the Music Hall era of the late 19th Century, through the 'satire boom' of the 1950s and 60s, to the stand-up comedy of the 21st Century. You will have the opportunity to look at key examples from the worlds of cabaret, circus, popular protest and television sit-com, asking questions about the techniques, formal qualities and cultural context of these performances. Through class discussions, practical work and a field trip, you will also consider how the specific social context of Leeds and its surrounding area may or may not have contributed to a distinctive Northern British 'sense of humour'.

Please note, the Leeds International Summer School runs for four weeks (30 June - 29 July 2018) and comprises two modules, each lasting two weeks. As well as this module you must take another module in order to attend LISS for the full four weeks.

Course leader

Emma Bennett

Target group

Undergraduate/Bachelor students

Credits info

5 EC
The module is worth 10 Leeds credits = 5 ECTS. You can transfer the credits earned back to your home degree subject to approval.

Fee info

GBP 1770: Includes tuition, accommodation, breakfast and lunch, Monday - Friday, academic field trip, weekend cultural excursions, social programme and premium gym membership.


Santander scholarships worth £500 are available for students with good academic standing to help pay your fees. You can apply as part of your application to LISS.