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Laughter, Humor, and the (Un)making of Gender
Historical and Cultural Perspectives869
Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. Throughout history, it has played a crucial role in defining gender roles and identities. This collection offers an in-depth thematic examination of this relationship between humor and gender, spanning a variety of historical and cultural backdrops.
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"I find Laughter, Humor, and the (Un)making of Gender to be a brilliant manifestation of the innovative power of the cultural history of emotion and its ability to create fresh perspectives that transcend disciplinary, cultural, and regional boundaries. The authors have compiled a stimulating collection of papers that range over the cultures of the globe and cast new light on the much-studied topic of gender by illuminating the constitutive power of what makes us laugh." - Walter G. Andrews, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, University of Washington, Seattle, USA "How is it possible that we have for so long missed the ways in which humor constructs, maintains, and undermines gender stereotypes? With essays spanning the pre-modern period and touching on non-Western cultures, this book offers a dynamic way to reconsider humor's key role in human lives." - Barbara H. Rosenwein, Loyola University Chicago, USA "A fresh look at longstanding questions, across a temporal range (classical antiquity to the early modern) and a geographical range (Asia to Europe, Islam to Christendom) too rarely spanned; not the usual suspects, either. The optimistic investigators find gender subversion, women's agency, and men's self-criticism in comic forms from high (Homer) to low (folklore, burlesque, jokes, cartoons), imagining a complex audience. A valuable resource." - Amy Richlin, Professor, Classics, University of California, Los Angeles, USA "This excellent collection of essays ranges across space and time from early medieval China through medieval Iceland to seventeenth-century Sweden. The authors draw on a wide range of visual and literary evidence including images on classical Greek vases, medieval French fabula, and early modern English jest-books, but also engage with a rich and varied historiography. Anyone interested in cultural history before 1800 will learn something from this volume." - Tim Reinke-Williams, University of Northampton, UK
David Konstan, New York University, USA Martha Bayless, University of Oregon, USA Lisa Perfetti, Whitman College, USA Mario Liong, Centennial College, Hong Kong Johanna Fridriksdottir, University of Reykjavik, Iceland Olle Ferm, Stockholm University, Sweden Alexandre Mitchell, University of Oxford, UK Kristine Steenbergh, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands Anu Korhonen, University of Helsinki, Finland Didem Havlio?lu, Sehir University, Turkey
General Introduction; Jonas Liliequist and Anna Foka PART I: LAUGHTER, HUMOR, AND MISOGYNY RECONSIDERATIONS AND NEW PERSPECTIVES Introduction; Anna Foka 1. Laughing at Ourselves: Gendered Humor in Classical Greece; David Konstan 2. Is the Comic World a Paradise for Women? Medieval Models of Portable Utopia; Martha Bayless 3. Taking Women's Work Seriously: Medieval Humor and the Gendering of Labor; Lisa Perfetti 4. Gender Subversion and the Early Christian East: Reconstructing the Byzantine Comic Mime; Anna Foka 5. Gossips' Mirth: Gender, Humor and Female Spectators in Ben Jonson's The Staple of News (1626); Kristine Steenbergh 6. The Magic of a Joke: Humor and Gender in Islamicate Ottoman Aesthetics; Didem Havlio?lu PART II: LAUGHTER, HUMOR, AND THE RHETORIC OF MANHOOD Introduction; Jonas Liliequist 7. Laughter, Sex and Violence: Constructing Gender in Early Modern English Jestbooks; Anu Korhonen 8. Horny priests and their Parishioners; Olle Ferm 9. Humor, women and male anxieties in ancient Greek visual culture; Alexandre G. Mitchell 10. Discipline and Humor: Hegemonic Masculinities in Three Pre-modern Chinese Humorous Texts; Mario Liong 11. Gender, Humor, and Power in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature; Johanna Katrin Fridriksdottir 12. Laughing at the Unmanly Man in Early Modern SwedenL Jonas Liliequist