Standing Up to False Binaries in Humour and Autism: A Dialogue

  • Kate Fox
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)


This is a dialogical exploration of how stand-up comedy can “queer” notions of autism when practised by a stand-up performer with autism. It is underpinned by the “double empathy” problem posed by autistic scientist Damian Milton, which suggests that neurotypical and autistic people experience mutual misunderstanding, rather than the empathy lack of autistic people proposed by medical models. This chapter suggests that the intersubjective relationship formed between audience and performer in a stand-up context can temporarily overcome the double empathy problem. The autistic stand-up performer can therefore temporarily disidentify from stigmatising and stereotyping labels, which preclude them from even displaying a sense of humour.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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