This clear and engaging book opens the study of global comedy and humor theory to undergraduate students by introducing theoretical, historical, and philosophical issues in comparative literary and cultural contexts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What is "Global Comedy"?
Activity: Humor Rorschach Test
Chapter 1: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata and ‘Middle Comedy’ in Modern Context
Activity: Staging Comedy
Chapter 2: Plautus and ‘New Comedy’
Connections: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Chapter 3: The Tao of Humor: Wisdom and Laughter in Zhuangzi and Liezi
Selected Writings of Zhuangzi (Basic Writings) and Leizi
Chapter 4: Commedia dell’arte: Roots and Branches
Mel Gordon, Lazzi (scenarios: "Pulcinella, The False Prince" and "Pulcinella, Physician by Force"
Chapter 5: Humor and the Politics of Place: Shakespearean Love Comedy Abroad
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Connections: Aimé Césaire, A Tempest
Chapter 6: Insanity, Absurdity and Parody
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Chapter 7: Shifting Targets of Humor: Negotiating the Objects of Ridicule
Chapter 8: Versatility of Humor in Senryu: Humorous Haiku of Edo Era Japan
Connections: Senryu Today: Satirizing the "Salaryman" Life
Chapter 9: Humor and Gendered Morals: Thus Do All… Women?
Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte, Cosi fan tutte
Chapter 10: Funny Money: Satires of Finance from Balzac to "Occupy Wall Street"
Honoré de Balzac, Mercadet
Connections: The Wolf of Wall Street
Chapter 11: Satirizing the East: The Politics of Intercultural Humor
Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado
Activity: Contemporary Comedic Stereotypes of Asia
Chapter 12: Fish Out of Water: Incongruities of Place
Hagop Baronian, Honorable Beggars
Chapter 13: Oscar Wilde and the Raskin’s Semantic Script Theory of Humor (SSTH)
Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime
Chapter 14: Ridiculing the State: Satire and National Allegory in Modern China
Lu Xun, "The True Story of Ah Q"
Chapter 15: Vernacular Theater and the Ironic Burlesque
Eduardo de Filippo, Christmas in Naples
Chapter 16: Postcolonial Tricksters and Comic Spirit
Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnificent
Chapter 17: Satires of Polygamy: Culture Clash as Incongruity Set
Ola Rotimi, Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again
Chapter 18: "Ya Mama": Abjection as Social Power
Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, Mule Bone
The Pharcyde, "Ya Mama"
Activity: Humor in Intra-group Dynamics
Chapter 19: Macabre Humor: Framing and Contextualizing for Acceptance
Edward Gorey’s Amphigorey Collections
Ken Tanaka, Everybody Dies
Activity: Why do people laugh at "sick" jokes?
Chapter 20: Humor and Children: Dr. Seuss vs. Shel Silverstein
Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham
Shel Silverstein, Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book
Chapter 21: Comedic Manga in Japan
Yakitate Ja-pan!! and Cross-Cultural Parody
Chapter 22: New Media Humor and the Ethics of Inclusion
Activity: Is it ever "just a joke"?
Chapter 23: Stand-up Comedy in History and Transnational Perspective
Trevor Griffith’s Comedians
Activity: Stand-up Brainstorming
Activity: Diagramming Stand-up Jokes
Chapter 24: Film Humor from Screenplay to Theaters
Part I: Human Nature, Charlie Kaufmann
Part II: Dogma, Kevin Smith
Jordan A. Yamaji Smith is currently Associate Professor of International Humanities at Josai International University, Japan. He has taught in eleven departments at six other universities (including UCLA, California State University of Long Beach, Roger Williams University, UC Riverside, Pepperdine University, and Korea University), designing over fifty courses and earning three teaching awards.