Mo LiuFollow

Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Dance

Directing Professor

Jeffrey N. Bullock


This thesis is an exploration of the interplay between comedy and cultural identity, blending creative expression with critical analyses. Through a combination of various original comedic performance pieces and written commentary, this project investigates comedy as an artform and in what manner both comedic form and humor are influenced by our personal and cultural backgrounds. Drawing on the author’s own experience as a Chinese immigrant in the United States, the author’s creative manifestation is a 40-minute-long comedy show that includes various comedic forms such as short films, intermedia performance, dance, and stand-up comedy while also exploring themes of cultural identity, stereotypes, cultural misunderstandings, and otherness. The written thesis includes research into comedic forms and the ways in which comedy is affected by culture and language with particular attention paid to comparisons between Chinese and American humor sensibilities. By employing a reflexive and interdisciplinary approach, this thesis hopes to bring to light the unifying and divisive aspects of comedy, and to clarify comedy’s complicated role in today’s turbulent times in a way that invites the audience to both laugh and question their laughter.

Available for download on Monday, July 08, 2024

Performance Access Statement

If you wish to see the creative piece or performance that accompanied this thesis, please complete the Request Form, and you should receive a response from the Dance Department within two weeks.