This book engages anthropologically with humor as political expression. It reveals how humor is in many instances central to human efforts to cope with political struggle and significant to understanding power dynamics in socio-political life. The chapters examine humor and joking activities across a diverse range of geographic areas and cultural contexts. The contributors consider humor as it is constituted in political anxiety, aggression and power, and when it becomes a tool to resist, repair, reconcile or make a moral claim. Collectively they demonstrate that humor can provide a powerful critique, a non-violent form of political protest and the space for restoration of human dignity.
Table of Contents
Jana Kopelent Rehak1.You've Got to be Joking: Asserting the Analytical Value of Humor and Laughter in Contemporary Anthropology
Yasmine Musharbasch and John Carty2. Disaster Humor in an Age of Truth-bending Politics
Noelle Molé Liston
3. "Joke" Elections: Satirical Activism and Political Opposition in Lithuania
Neringa Klumbytė4.When the Fearful Becomes Funny: Joke-Work in the Midst of Violence
Susanna Trnka5. Humor Against Forgetting: Joking in the Space of Death
Jana Kopelent Rehak6. Chisasibi Cree Hunters and Missionaries: Humor as Evidence of Tension
Fikret Berkes7. Mexican Speech Play: History and the Psychological Discourses of Power
José E. Limón
8. The Flesh of Joking Relationships: A Study of Quechua Sexual Farce
Camille Riverti9. Trickster In The Mirror of Play and Anthropological Imagination
10. Trump's Two Bodies: The Trickster-Wrestler as a Political Type
Morten Axel Pedersen11. "An Army of Comedy": Political Jokes and Tropic Ambiguity in the Trump Era
Afterword: Not All Fun and Games: The Force of Humor in Political Life
Jana Kopelent Rehak is a Researcher in Anthropology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA and Lecturer at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.
Susanna Trnka is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.