May 12, 2022

Rethinking Race and Comedy

Moderator: Vadricka Etienne, Assistant Professor of Gender, Race, and Identity and Sociology

Summary: Humor plays an integral part in our lives, often bringing people together. However, what we find ‘funny’ is shaped by our political, historical, and cultural contexts. Considering that we live in a society with historical and continued systematic racial inequities, our expert panelists grapple with the ever-evolving nature of racial humor in this episode of Thought on Tap. When does humor become racist? Why do we find certain jokes funny? How can humor be used to cope with trauma? How can comedy be used to ‘puncture power’ yet can also reinforce racist ideology? What are the limits of comedy?

Join our expert panelists, Professors Adi Cabral (UNR, Theatre), Raúl Pérez (University of La Verne, Sociology), and Comedian Dominique Nisperos for a live discussion moderated by Vadricka Etienne(UNR, Sociology and Gender, Race, and Identity). 

Thought on Tap is brought to you by the Core Humanities program and the College of Liberal Arts. Podcasts and transcripts of past Thought on Tap episodes are now available on the Core Humanities website.


• Dominique Nisperos (Comedian and recovering academic)

• Adi Cabral (Assistant Professor of Theatre, UNR)

• Raúl Pérez (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of La Verne)


• Vadricka Etienne (Assistant Professor of Sociology and Gender, Race, and Identity, UNR)

Summary: To Be Announced

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: To Be Determined