2366 - Through the Lens of Laughter: American Humor in Historical, Cultural and Social Context
Throughout our history, nothing of consequence has evaded the lens of laughter. From colonial days to the present, we have used jokes, comedic stories, graphic arts, literature, drama, performance, film, and broadcast media to explore and to express attitudes, values and opinions. Humor provides a unique focus and perspective on politics, race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sex, family, regional and class identities, and just about everything else. It is employed to ridicule what we disapprove and to share a common sense of agreement and community applauding of what we like. This course will take an historical overview followed by a look at various comedic genres. It will conclude with discussions of contemporary social issues concerning the influence and appropriateness of humor. Lecture (plus Questions)
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