Search results for: make-em-laugh-american-humorists-of-the-20th-and-21st-centuries

Make em Laugh American Humorists of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Author : Zeke Jarvis
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This lighthearted and eye-opening book explores the role of comedy in cultural and political critiques of American society from the past century. • Provides a context, vocabulary, and perspective to better appreciate and understand American humor • Connects historical developments to cultural changes • Includes both academic references and popular works • Covers a wide range of artists over a variety of media • Examines and explains general trends in American comedy

Homo Ludens as a Comic Character in Selected American Films

Author : Artur Skweres
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This book reveals the hitherto critically disregarded ludic elements in popular American comedy films, building on and expanding the theories developed by Johan Huizinga in his classic study Homo Ludens (1938) and Roger Caillois in Les jeux et les hommes (1958). To address the lack of attention paid to the play principle in film comedy studies, this book focuses exclusively on the elements typical of play that can be found in movies. It introduces two new categories describing play: óneiros and pragma, which allow analysis of how play in comedies is influenced by the relations between the player and non-players. The text is supplemented by the use of the author’s drawings, which, because of their analytical and selective nature, are used as a tool for visual study. The play principle has a long tradition in American humor and the films examined here were chosen for their popularity and wide appeal, often acting as vehicles for Hollywood stars (e.g. Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Goldie Hawn, Mike Myers, Jackie Chan or Chris Tucker). The actors’ status allowed the filmmakers to construct situations in which the protagonists distanced themselves from the fictional situation. It is argued that the playful detachment from reality, typifying many of the fictional characters portrayed by actors with star status, is characteristic of the play principle in film. Another major consideration is the hotly debated notion of the accomplishment of goals in playful activities, and the book strongly supports the position that in narratives, play can (but does not have to) yield important results. The introduction of the categories of óneiros and pragma in play serves to highlight the complex relation between playfulness and practicality in the films discussed. Building on a comprehensive analysis of the ludic elements in selected popular American comedies, the book makes an important contribution to film studies, providing a unique perspective through its focus on the concept of homo ludens as a comic hero.

Silenced in the Library Banned Books in America

Author : Zeke Jarvis
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Censorship has been an ongoing phenomenon even in "the land of the free." This examination of banned books across U.S. history examines the motivations and effects of censorship, shows us how our view of right and wrong has evolved over the years, and helps readers to understand the tremendous importance of books and films in our society. • Provides readers with a broad understanding of the different levels of censorship • Puts challenges to books into historical context of societal standards and current events • Takes both historical and literary perspectives, recognizing the lasting cultural influences of texts and their literary significance • Presents biographical background of major authors who have been challenged • Identifies the source and explains the result of challenges to the most important or influential banned books • Compares challenges to controversial books against similar challenges to controversial films, television shows, and video games

Did They Rest in Peace

Author : Joseph William Lewis Jr. M.D.
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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. By what miracle can an assortment of seemingly unrelated particles come together and correctly assemble to form a human being? Amazingly, once aggregated, these atoms, molecules, and compounds manage to interact reasonably coherently during our lives but seek to return to their dusty state when death occurs. Of the billions of our species who have existed on earth over the millennia, most have quietly and inexorably returned to ashes and dust when their term of life expired. This book tracks some of the misadventures of selected corpses, including burials that went awry to body snatching, exhumations, human-relic collection, and assorted desecrations. Over the years, it seems that a remarkable number of bodies have failed to enjoy the admonition to “Rest in Peace.” Whether these aberrations in the burial process have disturbed the afterlife of the departed, everyone is dying to discover the answer.

The Humor Prism in 20th century America

Author : Joseph Boskin
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The Humor Prism in Twentieth-Century America explores to what extent and in what ways American humor in the twentieth century reflects history.

The Primer of Humor Research

Author : Victor Raskin
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The book is intended to provide a definitive view of the field of humor research for both beginning and established scholars in a variety of fields who are developing an interest in humor and need to familiarize themselves with the available body of knowledge. Each chapter of the book is devoted to an important aspect of humor research or to a disciplinary approach to the field, and each is written by the leading expert or emerging scholar in that area. There are two primary motivations for the book. The positive one is to collect and summarize the impressive body of knowledge accumulated in humor research in and around Humor: The International Journal of Humor Research. The negative motivation is to prevent the embarrassment to and from the "first-timers," often established experts in their own field, who venture into humor research without any notion that there already exists a body of knowledge they need to acquire before publishing anything on the subject-unless they are in the business of reinventing the wheel and have serious doubts about its being round! The organization of the book reflects the main groups of scholars participating in the increasingly popular and high-powered humor research movement throughout the world, an 800 to 1,000-strong contingent, and growing. The chapters are organized along the same lines: History, Research Issues, Main Directions, Current Situation, Possible Future, Bibliography-and use the authors' definitive credentials not to promote an individual view, but rather to give the reader a good comprehensive and condensed view of the area.

Watching in Tongues Multilingualism on American Television in the 21st Century

Author : James G. Mitchell
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This book explores ideas and issues related to second language (L2) speakers and L2 use as portrayed on American television. It examines many examples of television depictions of L2 speakers and L2 use collected in the first decades of the 21st century. The book is divided into four three-chapter sections. “Humor and Homicide” looks at two aspects of the inclusion of L2 speakers and L2 use on television: L2 use or speakers depicted to create humor in various ways, especially through miscommunication or misunderstanding, and L2 knowledge used to solve crimes in the detective/police procedural genre. The section describes the reasons behind these phenomena, how they work, and the messages they convey to viewers. “Language Learning” explores how both adult and child language acquisition is represented and misrepresented on American television, with analysis of realistic vs. non-realistic depictions. “Subtitles and Stereotypes” explores the ways in which L2 speakers are often negatively depicted on television, their portrayal based on stereotypes. This work specifically investigates the role that subtitles play in leading viewers to such conclusions, employing the idea of language subordination, a process that devalues non-standard language while validating the norms and beliefs of the dominant group. Also considered are ways in which stereotypes are sometimes used to undermine negative perspectives on L2 speakers. “Language Attitudes and Mediation” evaluates depictions of second languages used as tools of mediation in both historical and satirical terms as well as the feelings these portrayals engender in viewers. In short, this work asks questions that have not previously been posed about L2 use on television, and it provides answers that not only shed light on issues of the representation of language learning and language use, but also constitute a lens through which American society as a whole might be understood.

Humor Empathy and Community in Twentieth Century American Poetry

Author : Rachel Trousdale
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Studies how American poets of the last hundred years have used laughter to promote recognition of shared humanity across difference.

American Book Publishing Record

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Laughter Humor and Comedy in Ancient Philosophy

Author : Pierre Destrée
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Ancient philosophers considered question about laughter, humor, and comedy to be both philosophically interesting and important. They theorized about laughter and its causes, moralized about the appropriate uses of humor and what it is appropriate to laugh at, and wrote treaties on comedic composition. They were often merciless in ridiculing their opponents' positions, borrowing comedic devices and techniques from comic poetry and drama to do so. This volume is organized around three sets of questions that illuminate the philosophical concerns and corresponding range of answers found in ancient philosophy. The first set investigates the psychology of laughter. What is going on in our minds when we laugh? What background conditions must be in place for laughter to occur? Is laughter necessarily hostile or derisive? The second set of questions concerns the ethical and social norms governing laughter and humor. When is it appropriate or inappropriate to laugh? Does laughter have a positive social function? Is there a virtue, or excellence, connected to laugher and humor? The third set of questions concerns the philosophical uses of humor and comedic technique. Do philosophers use humor exclusively in criticizing rivals, or can it play a positive educational role as well? If it can, how does philosophical humor communicate its philosophical content? This volume does not aim to settle these fascinating questions but more importantly to start a conversation about them, and serve as a reference point for discussions of laughter, humor, and comedy in ancient philosophy.

Explorations in Humor Studies

Author : Marcin Kuczok
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Working towards a multifaceted debate on humor and related phenomena, this book is a comprehensive reflection of the contributors’ shared interest in various dimensions of humor and its manifold applications. It is composed of a selection of writings that provide important insights into language used for humorous purposes. Theoretical discussions are complemented by an assortment of case studies in linguistics, culture, literature, and translation, as well as in visual and media studies.

Encyclopedia of Humor Studies

Author : Salvatore Attardo
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The Encyclopedia of Humor: A Social History explores the concept of humor in history and modern society in the United States and internationally. This work’s scope encompasses the humor of children, adults, and even nonhuman primates throughout the ages, from crude jokes and simple slapstick to sophisticated word play and ironic parody and satire. As an academic social history, it includes the perspectives of a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, child development, social psychology, life style history, communication, and entertainment media. Readers will develop an understanding of the importance of humor as it has developed globally throughout history and appreciate its effects on child and adult development, especially in the areas of health, creativity, social development, and imagination. This two-volume set is available in both print and electronic formats. Features & Benefits: The General Editor also serves as Editor-in-Chief of HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research for The International Society for Humor Studies. The book’s 335 articles are organized in A-to-Z fashion in two volumes (approximately 1,000 pages). This work is enhanced by an introduction by the General Editor, a Foreword, a list of the articles and contributors, and a Reader’s Guide that groups related entries thematically. A Chronology of Humor, a Resource Guide, and a detailed Index are included. Each entry concludes with References/Further Readings and cross references to related entries. The Index, Reader’s Guide themes, and cross references between and among related entries combine to provide robust search-and-browse features in the electronic version. This two-volume, A-to-Z set provides a general, non-technical resource for students and researchers in such diverse fields as communication and media studies, sociology and anthropology, social and cognitive psychology, history, literature and linguistics, and popular culture and folklore.

The Nineteenth Century

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Bloom s How to Write about Mark Twain

Author : R. Kent Rasmussen
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Provides a detailed introduction to writing an essay about literature and presents and discusses sample topics based on ten pieces by Mark Twain.

Humor and Social Change in Twentieth century America

Author : Joseph Boskin
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Humor in Modern American Poetry

Author : Rachel Trousdale
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Modern poetry, at least according to the current consensus, is difficult and often depressing. But as Humor in Modern American Poetry shows, modern poetry is full of humorous moments, from comic verse published in popular magazines to the absurd juxtapositions of The Cantos. The essays in this collection show that humor is as essential to the serious work of William Carlos Williams as it is to the light verse of Phyllis McGinley. For the writers in this volume, the point of humor is not to provide “comic relief,” a brief counterpoint to the poem's more serious themes; humor is central to the poems' projects. These poets use humor to claim their own poetic authority; to re-define literary tradition; to show what audience they are writing for; to make political attacks; and, perhaps most surprisingly, to promote sympathy among their readers. The essays in this book include single-author studies, discussions of literary circles, and theories of form. Taken together, they help to begin a new conversation about modernist poetry, one that treats its lighthearted moments not as decorative but as substantive. Humor defines groups and marks social boundaries, but it also leads us to transgress those boundaries; it forges ties between the writer and the reader, blurs the line between public and private, and becomes a spur to self-awareness.

Alternative Press Index

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Jokes and the Linguistic Mind

Author : Debra Aarons
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Through the lens of cognitive science, Jokes and the Linguistic Mind investigates jokes that play on some aspect of the structure and function of language. In so doing, Debra Aarons shows that these 'linguistic jokes' can evoke our tacit knowledge of the language we use. Analyzing hilarious examples from movies, plays and books, Jokes and the Linguistic Mind demonstrates that tacit linguistic knowledge must become conscious for linguistic jokes to be understood. The book examines jokes that exploit pragmatic, semantic, morphological, phonological and semantic features of language, as well as jokes that use more than one language and jokes that are about language itself. With its use of jokes as data and its highly accessible explanations of complex linguistic concepts, this book is an engaging supplementary text for introductory courses in linguistics, psycholinguistics and cognitive science.

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

Author : Richard Taruskin
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The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks-the themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to a significant period in the history of Western music. Music in the Early Twentieth Century , the fourth volume in Richard Taruskin's history, looks at the first half of the twentieth century, from the beginnings of Modernism in the last decade of the nineteenth century right up to the end of World War II. Taruskin discusses modernism in Germany and France as reflected in the work of Mahler, Strauss, Satie, and Debussy, the modern ballets of Stravinsky, the use of twelve-tone technique in the years following World War I, the music of Charles Ives, the influence of peasant songs on Bela Bartok, Stravinsky's neo-classical phase and the real beginnings of 20th-century music, the vision of America as seen in the works of such composers as W.C. Handy, George Gershwin, and Virgil Thomson, and the impact of totalitarianism on the works of a range of musicians from Toscanini to Shostakovich

The Senses of Humor

Author : Daniel Wickberg
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Why do modern Americans believe in something called a sense of humor, and how did they come to that belief? Daniel Wickberg traces the relatively short cultural history of the concept to its British origins as a way to explore new conceptions of the self and social order in modern America. More than simply the history of an idea, Wickberg's study provides new insights into a peculiarly modern cultural sensibility. The expression "sense of humor" was first coined in the 1840s, and the idea that such a sense was a personality trait to be valued developed only in the 1870s. What is the relationship between medieval humoral medicine and this distinctively modern idea of the sense of humor? What has it meant in the past 125 years to declare that someone lacks a sense of humor? Why do modern Americans say it is a good thing not to take oneself seriously? How is the joke, as a twentieth-century quasi-literary form, different from the traditional folktale? Wickberg addresses these questions among others and in the process uses the history of ideas to throw new light on the way contemporary Americans think and speak about humor and laughter. The context of Wickberg's analysis is Anglo-American; the specifically British meanings of humor and laughter from the sixteenth century forward provide the framework for understanding American cultural values in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The genealogy of the sense of humor is, like the study of keywords, an avenue into a significant aspect of the cultural history of modernity. Drawing on a wide range of sources and disciplinary perspectives, Wickberg's analysis challenges many of the prevailing views of modern American culture and suggests a new model for cultural historians.