Humor, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies
This coda comments on the importance of humor in cultural studies and its place in pedagogy, cultural politics, and dissent. It argues that there is no “final word” on how popular culture can challenge and reinscribe dominant ideologies and discourses and that 9/11 and America’s reaction must be understood not solely through the dominant frames of fear, anger, and sadness. Instead, it emphasizes the need to look at how those frames can be broadened, opened, fragmented, or broken through a raised eyebrow, a quirked smile, and sometimes even an uncontrollable laugh. It considers four categories of humor: language (allusion, exaggeration, irony, puns), logic (absurdity, repetition, reversal, unmasking), identity (burlesque, caricature, exposure, parody), and action (slapstick and speed). It also examines various theories of humor, including superiority, psychoanalytic, incongruity, and communication theories. Finally, it looks at jokes and humorous texts about 9/11.
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