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Laughing to Keep From Dying Virtual Event: Danielle Fuentes Morgan in conversation with W. Kamau Bell

Event Type
University of Illinois Press
Nov 18, 2020   4:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
University of Illinois Press Events Calendar

Join Danielle Fuentes Morgan and W. Kamau Bell for a virtual event celebrating the release of Morgan's new book Laughing to Keep From Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century on November 18, at 4pm PST. Book sales will be handled by The Collective Oakland bookstore.

You can purchase books here:

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About the Book:

By subverting comedy's rules and expectations, African American satire promotes social justice by connecting laughter with ethical beliefs in a revolutionary way. Danielle Fuentes Morgan ventures from Suzan-Lori Parks to Leslie Jones and Dave Chappelle to Get Out and Atlanta to examine the satirical treatment of race and racialization across today's African American culture. Morgan analyzes how African American artists highlight the ways that society racializes people and bolsters the powerful myth that we live in a "post-racial" nation. The latter in particular inspires artists to take aim at the idea racism no longer exists or the laughable notion of Americans "not seeing" racism or race. Their critique changes our understanding of the boundaries between staged performance and lived experience and create ways to better articulate Black selfhood. Adventurous and perceptive, Laughing to Keep from Dying reveals how African American satirists unmask the illusions and anxieties surrounding race in the twenty-first century.

About Danielle Fuentes Morgan:
Dr. Danielle Morgan is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California who specializes in African American literature and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. She  is interested in the ways that literature, popular culture, and humor shape identity formation. In particular, her research and teaching reflect her interests in African American satire and comedy, literature and the arts as activism, and the continuing influence of history on contemporary articulations of Black selfhood. She has written a variety of both scholarly and popular articles and has been interviewed on topics as varied as Black Lives Matter, the dangers of the “Karen” figure, race and sexuality on the Broadway stage, and Beyoncé. Her book, Laughing to Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century, is out November 16, 2020 with University of Illinois Press.

About W. Kamau Bell:
W. Kamau Bell is a stand-up comedian and the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award winning CNN docu-series United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. His latest stand-up comedy special, Private School Negro, is available on Netflix. Kamau wrote a book with the easy-to-remember title, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. He’s the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice and serves on the advisory boards of Hollaback! and Donors Choose.

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