Four Field Colloquium: Double-Voiced Parody: Stewart Huff Plays a Bigot


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  • Speaker: Susan Seizer, Associate Professor, Department of Communication & Culture Indiana University
  • Host Department: Anthropology
  • Date: 04/04/2014
  • Time: 4:00 PM

  • Location: 340 West Hall

  • Description:

    This talk investigates the creative process of standup comedian Stewart Huff as he recounts, in a video-taped interview with the ethnographer, the act of transforming a painful meeting with a bigot in a bar into the stuff of comedy. While speaking of his own process Huff breaks into a performance that demonstrates the cathartic power of building a parodic scenario that uses two voices. Beginning from Bakhtin’s insight that parody involves a hostile relation between the speaker and another, and that introducing someone else’s words into one’s own speech results in a double-voiced narrative, I analyze Huff’s re-creation as providing the comedian himself with an empowering act of transformation from horror into humor, while simultaneously providing humorous recreation for his comedy club audiences.