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Research theme 2018-19: Laughter

Fellows Dr Alice Rudge and Dr Andrew Dean are researching this theme.

Laughter

This theme is open to the widest possible interpretation and is assumed to address the concerns of many disciplines and departments while providing a frame for thinking across or even bypassing entrenched or established modes of thinking. It could include the following concerns:

  • External expressions of merriment/amusement: its corporeal/cognitive dimensions
  • The politics of laughter: irreverence, mockery, ridicule, revenge, revolutionary mirth/glee
  • The aesthetics/poetics of laughter: satire, wit, comic forms, caricature and comedic creations
  • The performance/production of laughter: stand up, clowning, mimicry, jokers and fools
  • Technologies of laughter: canned, recorded, packaged, produced, pre-planned
  • Laughter on line: happy emojis, lol, hahaha, mediations and manipulations of laughing in social networks and new media
  • Laughter and feeling: reparation, catharsis, release, empathy
  • Dark laughter: last laughs, gallows humour, hysteria, contagion, forced funniness, humiliation, hyperbolic horror
  • Weaponised laughter: cruel jokes, taking the piss, winding some-one up, bullies and buffoons
  • Defensive laughter: anxiety, embarrassment, fear, unease
  • Representation/narration of laughter: infectious, unfunny, unpleasant, inappropriate, palliative
  • The laughing body: incontinence, unruliness, excess, falling about, unravelling, porous, seeping

Image: The Laughing Audience (or A Pleased Audience), by William Hogarth (died 1764)

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