Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture features Carolyn Taylor


The 2023 Wendy Michener Lecture, titled “Queer Feminism and Comedy: A Serious Talk,” will be hosted at the McLean Performance Studio in 244 Accolade East Building on Tuesday, April 4 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.  

Carolyn Taylor

This year’s lecture features Carolyn Taylor, co-creator, showrunner and star of CBC’s acclaimed Baroness von Sketch Show. Throughout her career, the award-winning comedian, actor, writer, director and artist has brought a queer perspective to her work and a commitment to the personal as political. Taylor’s lecture will explore the intersection of queer feminism and comedy, elaborating on her own body of work and experiences in the field. She will explore what it means to centre, rather than other, the feminist perspective in comedy, and how nuanced and empathetic characters can be created through a feminist lens. Taylor will take up a number of timely topics, ranging from examining gender identity and drag in sketch comedy, to using comedy to infiltrate dominant discourses, to blending the esoteric and the relatable – we’re all laughing, but why? Along the way, she will showcase scenes from her subversive and groundbreaking comedy series, Baroness von Sketch Show.

Taylor developed her skills in improvisation and social satire at The Second City in Toronto. She’s written and performed political commentary for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos and CBC Radio’s This Is That. Since Baroness von Sketch Show premiered in 2016, Taylor and the show have received national and international critical acclaim, as well as won 20 Canadian Screen Awards, an ACTRA Award for Best Ensemble, two international Rockies for Best Comedy, The Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content and an international Rose D’or.

Currently, Taylor can be seen on the hit CBS comedy Ghosts as a lesbian organic farmer opposite Saturday Night Live cast member Punky Johnson. This fall she will appear as a quixotic would-be choreographer on streaming platform Crave’s upcoming figure skating comedy I Have Nothing

Taylor’s discussion is the latest entry in the annual Wendy Michener Memorial Lecture, which is named in commemoration of the Canadian arts critic and journalist, and was established at York University in 1986 to provide a forum for discussion of vital issues and developments in culture and the arts. This year’s event is co-presented by the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, York University’s Department of Theatre and Performance, Department of Dance, Centre for Feminist Research, and Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technology.

Tickets for the event are available online for free. Additional information is featured on the event registration page.