The Rhetoric of Humor
First EditionKirk Boyle©2017
Brief. Inexpensive. Compelling.
The Bedford Spotlight Reader series brings critical topics to life in a portable, cost-effective reader. In this volume, you’ll explore these questions: What takes place when we laugh? When and where does humor occur? Who (or what) is a comedian? What is the function of satire in a democratic society? How do you write a comic argument?
Readings by psychologists, philosophers, comedians, scholars, journalists, cartoonists, and others take up these questions and more. This book helps you form your own questions and responses as you investigate this popular and intellectually rich topic. Visit macmillanlearning.com/spotlight.
Table of Contents
Preface for Instructors Contents by Discipline Contents by Theme Introduction for Students Chapter 1: Act: What Takes Place When We Laugh? Leon Rappoport, What Makes Us Laugh John Morreall, From Lucy to "I Love Lucy": The Evolution of Humor Joel Warner, One Professor’s Attempt to Explain Every Joke Ever Sigmund Freud, Humor Jeffrey Klassen, He Looked into the Grim Reaper’s Eyes and Nervously Laughed Chapter 2: Scene: When and Where Does Humor Occur? Caitlin Flanagan, That’s Not Funny! Simon Critchley, Foreigners Are Funny: The Ethicity and Ethnicity of Humor Daniel Harris, How Many Light-Bulb Jokes Does It Take to Chart an Era? Katherine Leyton, Laughing It Off Michael V. Tueth, Breaking and Entering: Transgressive Comedy on Television Aleks Krotoski, What Effect Has the Internet Had on Comedy? Ian Crouch, Is Social Media Ruining Comedy? Chapter 3: Agent: Who (or What) Is a Comedian? Matt Buchanan, Why Twitter Parody Accounts Should Stay Anonymous Chris Bachelder, The Dead Chipmunk: An Interrogation into the Mechanisms of Jokes Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Romantic Comedy and Genre Amanda Lynch Morris, Native American Stand-Up Comedy Alan Shain, Perspectives on Comedy and Performance as Radical Disability Activism Karley Sciortino, Why Amy Schumer Is an Amazing Feminist Jennifer Reed, Sexual Outlaws: Queer in a Funny Way Chapter 4: Purpose: What Is the Function of Satire in a Democratic Society? Joe Sacco, On Satire: A Response to the Charlie Hebdo Attacks Tim Parks, The Limits of Satire Russell L. Peterson, Losing Our Religion Elizabeth Kolbert, Stooping to Conquer Steve Almond, The Joke’s on You Amber Day, Moving Beyond Critique Daniel J. Kenny, How John Oliver Usurped a Genre Chapter 5: Agency: How Do You Write a Comic Argument? Franklin Ajaye, First Steps to Becoming a Stand-Up Comedian Megh Wright, How Improv Helps Television’s Best Comedy Writers Conor Friedersdorf, A Modest Proposal: Don't Worry About Government Surveillance at All, Ever Michael Kimmel, Ritualized Sexuality in Nacirema Subculture Julia Drake, The Boy from Jurassic Park’s College Application Essay Paul Davidson, Consumer Joe Baratunde Thurston, How to Be the Black Employee Christian Lander, Stuff White People Like
Index of authors and titles
Index of authors and titles