Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of History

Committee Chair

Alan Downs

Committee Member 1

Michelle Haberland

Committee Member 2

Cathy Skidmore-Hess


Activism entails not only individuals overtly campaigning for changes in public spheres, but in other ways and strategies as well. One of these other avenues is the use of political satire and humor. Comedy publicizes frustrations of American issues, just as sit-ins, walk-outs, or marches do. For the most part, scholars fail to address the importance of humor. This work researches not only the comedic works of Charlie Hill, the 1491s, and other American Indian comedians, but also how their craft possibly alters stances and opinions. These comedians have a voice, and, therefore, deserve examination. This work shows the influence of these comedians by revealing and detailing theories of humor and how comics implement these theories into their routines. By researching humor and the theory behind the craft, this thesis focuses on how American Indian comedians use their profession as a means to advocate for social and political change. The work ultimately argues that scholars need to tap into this approach of social and political activism.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material