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Humor, Amnesia, and Making Place

Constitutive Acts of the Subject in Gezi Park, Istanbul

Christopher Houston and Banu Senay

the specific agentive forces that enabled the formation of subjects during the events of Gezi Park. We argue that a widespread and efficacious political humor propelled the emergence of a new subject. But we note too that even in unremarkable times

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Dafna Lemish and Shiri Reznik

This study explores gender differences in the roles of humor in the lives of Israeli children. Thirty-four Jewish middle-class Israeli children, sixteen girls and eighteen boys, aged between eight to ten years, were interviewed in focus groups in which they discussed a variety of humorous video segments, jokes, and everyday humor. The analysis suggests that humor in interaction is a highly gendered process in this age group and is employed differently by boys and girls to perform their gendered identities. Girls engaged much less in sexist and aggressive humor and clearly used it to maintain their separateness from boys and younger children. We conclude that humor provides us with another avenue through which to unveil the complicated processes of gender construction in pre-adolescent childhood, while demonstrating at the same time the ambivalence and complexity involved in these processes.

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Dirk Eitzen

There is a striking divide, in the literature on comedy, between approaches that stress the social functions of humor, including social control and alleviation of social stresses, and approaches that focus on the psychological mechanisms of humor, including incongruity and arousal. These two kinds of approach have proven quite resistant to integration, because they are rooted in fundamentally different understandings of the pleasure of humor. Put simply, the pleasure of the put-down is hard to square with the pleasure of the pun. This article examines new scientific research on humor, including recent brain imaging studies, to see if there is any evidence for an empirical divide. The conclusion, in practical analytical terms, is that when, near the start of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Shaun fails to notice that he is surrounded by zombies, our perception of the inappropriateness of the character's actions and our perception of the playfulness of the depiction are both necessarily involved in our perception of the scene's funniness.

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Fiona Cullen

Much previous scholarly work has noted the gendered nature of humor and the notion that women use comedy in a different way than do their male peers. Drawing on prior work on gender and humor, and my ethnographic work on teen girl cultures, I explore in this article how young women utilize popular cultural texts as well as everyday and staged comedy as part of a gendered resource that provides potential sites for sex-gender transgression and conformity. Through a series of vignettes, I explore how girls do funny and provide a backdrop to perform youthful gendered identities, as well as establish, maintain, and transgress cultural and social boundaries. Moving on to explore young women and stand-up I question the potential in mobilizing humor as an educational resource and a site in which to explore sex-gender norms with young people.

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Michelle Bumatay

This article explores the strategies Gabonese cartoonist Pahé deploys to disrupt media-driven images of Africa in both his autobiographical series La vie de Pahé ['The Life of Pahé'] and the fictional series Dipoula, co-created with French cartoonist Sti. It focuses on the role of humor as a way to mock Western hegemony while exposing how sustained colonial logic informs Western representations of Africa. Using humor that thrives on misrecognition, Pahé thwarts readers' expectations and facilitates new possibilities for thinking through the relationship between Europe and Africa, while also drawing attention to the attendant relationship between Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées and other Francophone comics.

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Robert R. Clewis

How should a film's appearing dated affect critical evaluation of it? This article distinguishes enjoyment of a film from evaluation and describes how films undergo positive, negative, and comic dating. The affective responses of nostalgia, boredom, and humorous amusement, respectively, are associated with each of these kinds of dating. Insofar as these affective responses are unintended and thus beyond the control of the filmmakers, they have little influence on the film's artistic value, which is understood in terms of the filmmakers' achievement. Conversely, these states do affect levels of enjoyment. By recognizing this, evaluators can rationally resolve disagreements that are grounded on these unintended affective responses to dated films. Several films and film reviews are examined, yet no attempt is made to give close readings or analyses of the films discussed.

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Never Mind the Ballots

The Edible Ballot Society and the Performance of Citizenship

Matthew Hayes

parties. According to the EBS website, 1 “voting is not only useless, it actually undermines genuine democracy by legitimizing an inherently undemocratic process.” The EBS protests were, I advance, performances of citizenship that drew on humor and a

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“I’m No Donna Reed”

Postfeminist Rhetoric in Christian At-Home Daughterhood Texts

Elizabeth Shively

same time, following McRobbie, subtly “undoing” (2004: 3) feminism through humor and, following Stacey and Gerard (1990) doing so through depoliticization. This postfeminist stance makes at-home daughterhood more palatable to a generation that takes

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Jari Lyytimäki

How can humor illustrate critical trends related to social, economic, and ecological sustainability? This article is based on a case study that focused on the film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) and two related short films—Rare Exports Inc. (2003) and Rare Exports: Official Safety Instructions (2005). These fantasy films employ irony and dark humor that reverse the popular impressions related to Santa Claus and his elves and, more generally, exotic northern nature and culture. By representing the gentle Santa Claus as a savage hybrid creature brutally punishing those not adhering to certain social norms, these films break several conventional dichotomies between good and evil, human and animal, and society and nature. The use of dark humor and irony may compromise attempts to create public understanding based on best available scientific knowledge, but it also opens up complementary and potentially fruitful ways to discuss sustainability issues. Irony provides opportunities to identify and criticize unsustainable trends and to challenge and disclose dichotomies that may otherwise remain unnoticed.

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Jeffrey B. Griswold

This article complicates scholarship on Macbeth that understands political attachment in terms of an autonomous subject and attributes Macbeth’s demise to an over-susceptibility to natural or supernatural forces. By putting early modern accounts of the humoral constitution of the night air in conversation with modern theories of apostrophe, I argue that the Macbeths’ experiences of night theorise political action as inseparable from the nonhuman forces in the play. Shakespeare reworks his source material to explore the borders of the human, imagining a more complex relationship between treasonous violence and the darkness that enshrouds Scotland.