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Palgrave Studies in Comedy

Humour as Politics

The Political Aesthetics of Contemporary Comedy

Authors: Holm, Nicholas

  • Presents a new theory of humour as the cultural expression of our (neo)liberal moment
  • Revisits existing humour texts in order to rethink both the political limitations and possibilities of humour as a political mode in the twenty-first century
  • Brings together concerns of form and aesthetics with questions of power in a manner that not only reassesses the cultural work of humour, but also articulates a new account of the political possibilities of popular aesthetics more broadly
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Buy this book

eBook 76,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50950-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • Due: November 8, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50949-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book argues that recent developments in contemporary comedy have changed not just the way we laugh but the way we understand the world. Drawing on a range of contemporary televisual, cinematic and digital examples, from Seinfeld and Veep to Family Guy and Chappelle’s Show, Holm explores how humour has become a central site of cultural politics in the twenty-first century. More than just a form of entertainment, humour has come to play a central role in the contemporary media environment, shaping how we understand ideas of freedom, empathy, social boundaries and even logic. Through an analysis of humour as a political and aesthetic category, Humour as Politics challenges older models of laughter as a form of dissent and instead argues for a new theory of humour as the cultural expression of our (neo)liberal moment. 

About the authors

Nicholas Holm is a lecturer in Media Studies at Massey University, New Zealand. He has written widely on the politics and aesthetics of popular culture, in particular contemporary humour. He is author of Advertising and Society: A Critical Introduction (2016).

Reviews

“Pushing beyond orthodox theories, this book draws attention to the aesthetics of humour, long-neglected by mainstream humour research. Compelling analyses of contemporary American popular comedy underpin the author’s important conclusions about the political aesthetic of modern comic forms across the English-speaking world. Challenging and insightful, the book offers food for thought to scholars of contemporary humour and comedy.” (Jessica Milner Davis FRSN, University of Sydney, Australia. Author of Farce (1978) and Satire and Politics, Palgrave 2017)

“In a historical moment marked by lively debate over the political uses of comedy and satire, Nicholas Holm’s Humour as Politics arrives to bring us the conceptual tools we need.  Holm’s book is at once a thorough overview of theories of humour and a sharply observed analysis of the way in which recent media texts mobilize humour for political ends.  Witty, rigorous and convincing, Humour and Politics is a landmark work of cultural analysis.” (Will Straw, Professor, Department of Art History and Communications Studies, McGill University, Canada)

“This is a remarkably erudite, rigorous and persuasive analysis of one of the most important, and under-studied cultural forms of our time. Making no casual assumptions about the political effects and consequences of popular comedy,  Humour as Politics demonstrates with close attention the multiple ways in which humour can reproduce, trouble or overturn established norms of understanding and behaviour. An important work of cultural studies and cultural criticism, this ground-breaking study sheds crucial new light on the operations of this most central, but still elusive, point of interface between everyday life, media culture and the wider public domain.” (Jeremy Gilbert,  Professor of Cultural and Political Theory, University of East London, UK)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction: Living in Comic Times

    Holm, Nicholas

    Pages 1-22

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Dissent in Jest: Humour in the Liberal Moment

    Holm, Nicholas

    Pages 23-58

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Telling Jokes to Power: The (A)Political Work of Humour

    Holm, Nicholas

    Pages 59-88

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Humour Without Anaesthetic: The Discomfort of Reality Comedy

    Holm, Nicholas

    Pages 89-118

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Humour Without Pity: The Scandal of Provocative Humour

    Holm, Nicholas

    Pages 119-147

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €

Buy this book

eBook 76,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50950-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • Due: November 8, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50949-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Humour as Politics
Book Subtitle
The Political Aesthetics of Contemporary Comedy
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Comedy
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-50950-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-50950-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-50949-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 223
Number of Illustrations and Tables
12 illustrations in colour
Topics