Emily Mason

Entry Cohort: Fall 2018 | she/her/hers


Emily earned an MA in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire in 2018 and a second MA here at UConn in 2021. She also earned UConn’s Graduate Certificate in College Instruction in 2021. She is currently working toward UConn’s Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and expects to earn this in 2022.  

Research Interests 

Organizations and work; culture; qualitative research methods; nonprofit organizations; pedagogy; family; gender; sexualities; humor; comedy as incidental, informal, and critical public pedagogy; boundary maintenance; semiotics.   

Current Research 

For her MA thesis, Emily conducted interviews with stand-up comedians to explore how they imagine audiences and negotiate humor boundaries accordingly. Her work addresses under what circumstances comedians will make exceptions to comedic boundaries they purport to hold. It elucidates how the self-policing of what comics “can” and “can’t” joke about can be illusory. She is currently working on a manuscript about the self-protective strategies carried out by individuals who produce moralized content for public consumption. It especially explores polysemic humor, lines of acceptability, and fear of being “cancelled.” For her dissertation, she plans to employ qualitative methods to investigate the ever-evolving relationships between charitable organizations and nonprofit grant-seekers.    

Major Advisor 

Andrew Deener 


Andrew Deener, Ruthie Braunstein, Mary Bernstein  

Contact Information