Virtual Conference (Radcliffe): To Laugh Is Human—Gender and Comedy

Are we entering a new age of comedy? As once marginalized voices take center stage, fresh comedic genres are challenging assumptions about who and what can be funny. Join us as comedians, academics, and activists share their surprising insights into gender and comedy and how laughter can deepen and transform our sense of humanity.


Friday, April 1, 2022 @ 6:30AM -2:00PM Pacific Time 

Click here for more details and to register now!
Free and open to the public.

Harvard Radcliffe Institute is grateful to the alumni board of the Harvard Lampoon, which initially proposed the theme of the conference to us. The program will coincide with their celebration of 50 years of women on the Lampoon.

Harvard Radcliffe Institute gratefully acknowledges the Perrin Moorhead Grayson and Bruns Grayson Dean’s Leadership Fund for Academic Ventures, which is supporting this event.

We are planning "To Laugh Is Your Only Job" as a hybrid event. In-person and Zoom audiences will submit questions through the same online platform.

Please note that plans for on-campus events are subject to change based on evolving university and school policies. Attendees should consult Harvard’s COVID-19 Information page for the latest requirements.


Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean, Harvard Radcliffe Institute; Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School; professor of history, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and chair, Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery

Glenda Carpio, chair, Department of English; Harvard College Professor; and professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Lynn Harris, founder and CEO, GOLD Comedy

Lisa Henson, CEO and president, The Jim Henson Company

Shigehisa Kuriyama, Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History; interim chair, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Patricia Marx, staff writer, the New Yorker

Jes Tom, actor, writer, and stand-up comic

Scott Saul, professor, Department of English, University of California, Berkeley; author of Becoming Richard Pryor (HarperCollins, 2014)

Sophie Scott, professor of cognitive neuroscience, University College London

Reggie Watts, comedian, actor, beatboxer, musician, and bandleader for The Late Late Show with James Corden

Alexis Wilkinson, writer and comedian

Jeff Wright, writer, Late Night with Seth Meyers

Alice Wu, film director and screenwriter, including Saving Face and The Half of It