Laughter and Political Order: History, Comedy, Satire|
This course is intended as a general introduction to how laughter has affected social and political order in diverse historical contexts. We will explore comedy, satire, parody, and other artistic and comon-life expressions of laughter, in relation to the issue of socio-political order. Is laughter an individual expression of freedom and independence from power? Or does it depend on collective values and shared expectations, implying, as such, certain social and political ideas? How do laughter and joy define identities, communities and--eventually--violence (the ones who laugh vs. the ones who are laughed at)? Can we establish a general theory of the politics of laughter, or do its effects on social order depend on very specific historical circumstances? How does laughter affect political order, and how does political order define the object and the poetics of laughter? Does joy and ridicule function as a mere escape valve, or can we talk of a genuine politics of laughter?
The readings for this course will include not only canonical texts of comedy and satire, but also samples of minor pieces that played an important role in propaganda or contestation throughout history. We will also discuss theoretical approaches to the politics of laughter through the ages.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Special Attributes: FYI|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Readings will include Aristophanes, Horace, Erasmus, Lazarillo de Tormes, Jonson, Quevedo, Swift, Hasek. Pamphlets and materials from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the French Revolution, the First World War, the Soviet Revolution, fascist regimes. Bergson, Freud, Bakhtin,
Movies (RIDICULE, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, WELCOME MR. MARSHALL).
|Examination and Assignments: |
Three short papers and a longer final essay.
One paper will deal with a theoretical problem or a theoretical text concerning laughter.
One paper will analyze a major canonical text (Aristophanes, Swift...), serving to train the student in more aesthetic isues, such as the poetics of laughter, or the tradition and conventions of the comic canon.
One paper will analyze a minor text, such as a pamphlet or minor satirical piece. This will serve to introduce the student to the politics of laughter and problems of contextualization.
The final essay will deal with the contemporary situation and the use of laughter in relation to recent political affairs. Alternatively, the student may opt for creating a humoristic piece in which he or she reflects on political life and uses the strategies and conventions discussed in the course.
Depending on the density and complexity of the weekly readings, assignment will range from 50 to 100 pages per week.
|Instructor(s): Castro-Ibaseta,Javier Times: .M...F. 01:10PM-02:30PM; Location: BTFDA413; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 19||SR major: X||JR major: X|| || |
|Seats Available: -1||GRAD: X||SR non-major: X||JR non-major: X||SO: X||FR: 19|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 3||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 1||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 2|