Description : This edited collection explores the representations of identity in comedy and interrogates the ways in which “humorous” constructions of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, class and disability raise serious issues about privilege, agency and oppression in popular culture. Should there be limits to free speech when humour is aimed at marginalised social groups? What are the limits of free speech when comedy pokes fun at those who hold social power? Can taboo joking be used towards politically progressive ends? Can stereotypes be mocked through their re-invocation? Comedy and the Politics of Representation: Mocking the Weak breaks new theoretical ground by demonstrating how the way people are represented mediates the triadic relationship set up in comedy between teller, audience and butt of the joke. By bringing together a selection of essays from international scholars, this study unpacks and examines the dynamic role that humour plays in making and remaking identity and power relations in culture and society.
Description : Comedy is one of the most popular forms in film. But what exactly is film comedy and what might be the basis of its widespread appeal? This book takes a multi-perspective approach to answering these questions.
Description : Because I Tell a Joke or Two explores the complex relationship between comedy and the social differences of class, region, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationhood. It shows how comedy has been used to sustain, challenge and to change power relationships in society. The contributors, who include Stephen Wagg, Mark Simpson, Stephen Small, Paul Wells and Frances Williams, offer readings of comedy genres, texts and performers in Britain, the United States and Australia. The collection also includes an interview with the comedian Jo Brand. Topics addressed include: * women in British comedies such as Butterflies and Fawlty Towers * the life and times of Viz, from Billy the Fish to the Fat Slags * queer readings of Morecambe and Wise, the male double act * the Marx brothers and Jewish comedy in the United States * black radical comedy in Britain * The Golden Girls, Cheers, Friends and American society.
Description : Professor Dover's newest book is designed for those who are interested in the history of comedy as an art form but who are not necessarily familiar with the Greek language. The eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes are treated as representative of a genre. Old Attic Comedy, which was artistically and intellectually homogeneous and gave expression to the spirit of Athenian society in the late fifth and early fourth centuries B.C. Aristophanes is regarded primarily not as a reformer or propagandist but as a dramatist who sought, in competition with his rivals, to win the esteem both of the general public and of the cultivated and critical minority. He succeeded in this effort by making people laugh, and the book pays more attention than has generally been paid to the technical means, whether of language or of situation, on which Aristophanes' humor depends. Particular emphasis is laid on his indifference-positively assisted by the physical limitations of the Greek theatre and the conditions of the Athenian dramatic festivals-to the maintenance of continuous “dramatic illusion” or to the provision of a dramatic event with the antecedents and consequences which might logically be expected. More importance is attached to Aristophanes' adoption of popular attitudes and beliefs, to his creation of uninhibited characters with which the spectators could identify themselves, and to his acceptance of the comic poet's traditional role as a mordant but jocular critic of morals, than to any identifiable and consistent elements in his political standpoint.