Disobedient Laughter: The Criminal Tradition in American Women’s Comedy Cinema

Professor Linda Mizejewski (Ohio State University) takes us on a journey through four key moments in American women’s comedy film.

Please note this event will be held online via Microsoft Teams. Further details to follow nearer the time.

The raucous spirit of anti-authoritarianism characterizes most film comedy and aligns us with its comic misfits and outsiders. But in American women’s comedy films, this dynamic is tied to a more radical protest of exclusion from the law and more overt alignments with crime. 

This talk stakes out four key moments in this history – the 1930s comedy of Mae West and the films 9 to 5 (1980), Thelma & Louise (1991) and Tangerine (2015) – tracing the dynamic of disobedient laughter that provokes audiences into subversive positions against the law.  

Linda Mizejewski is a Distinguished Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University.