Karen Chee

Karen Chee

Class of 2017, American Studies
Comedy writer/performer
Karen Chee '17

Thesis Title: The Ghostly Grotesque: The Revolutionary Satire and Intersectionality of H.T. Tsiang’s The Hanging on Union Square

What Now: Comedy writer/performer

What Next: I am currently writing comedy (The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, etc.) and will be headed to an artist residency in Vermont this fall!

Follow Me: @karencheee (Twitter)

I loved concentrating in History & Literature. I felt like all of my classes were, at their core, about learning to love and empathize with fictional and historical people. Hist & Lit was such a wonderful way to learn about storytelling and the importance of whose stories you tell and which voices you highlight and how to do all this respectfully and honestly. This has been super helpful with writing, and also in turning me from a terrible tiny person to a more acceptable human adult.

This overarching idea led to many good things, most notably one specific career-related moment. Last fall I wrote a Sherlock Holmes parody for an HL90 seminar, and a few months later I wrote a SH parody for The New Yorker satirizing Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre” comment. I literally took out my old binder and found the handout from the seminar and made sure my piece followed its guidelines of how to write a good parody. Now that I think about it, I probably owe my instructor compensation for this. I wonder if they have Venmo.