MA Research Paper


Master of Arts




Dr. Anton Allahar

Delay of Publication



The current study aims to compare how South Asian comedians Russell Peters and Hasan Minhaj use racial and ethnic humor to articulate their understandings of Brownness, a tenuous space of both privilege and persecution in North America. Racial and ethnic humor inhabit a contentious continuum that includes exclusionary racist humor, which naturalizes and reiterates racial ideologies, and emancipatory racial humor that exposes and resists dominant power structures. I employ a thematic content analysis of the stand-up comedy shows Comedy Now!(2004) and Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (2017) to argue that the social construction of Brownness in the material of South Asian comedians shapes its propensity for social order and social change. In conclusion, I consider the ideological implications of racial and ethnic humor on the social perceptions of marginalized groups and in public discourses on race and racism.

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