In this workshop we will explore the relationship between stand up comedy and teaching, and how lessons and dynamics that occur in successful comedy routines could be relevant to the classroom. To be a good comedian, you have to be able to persuade your audience to let you show them a new perspective on things—to welcome a diverse crowd, to establish some shared premises, to think about questions which have never occurred to them before, to see the world as an outsider would, and to wonder why, exactly, we behave in the ways that we do. In some cases, these new perspectives may be simply humorous; but often, they carry a bite, and allow the audience to reflect critically (even uncomfortably) on the world we have created. In theory, these are exactly the skills we value when teaching the liberal arts, too. By studying video of famous routines and engaging in a number of fun improv exercises, we’ll explore the ways in which we might transpose the wisdom of the comedy club to the college classroom.
This workshop is a part of Winter Teaching Week- a series of intensive workshops offered during J-Term in conjunction with January@GSASfor graduate student teachers at every stage, from just starting out to looking toward the job market.
Led by Adam Beaver, Director of Pedagogy & Practice, Derek Bok Center