Humor and the Making of Middle Eastern and North African Modernities

Страна: США

Город: Los Angeles

Тезисы до: 23.09.2017

Даты: 29.03.18 — 01.04.18

Область наук: Филологические;

Е-мейл Оргкомитета:,

Организаторы: American Comparative Literature Association


By all accounts, “modernity” is considered a serious discourse, yet does humor have anything to tell us about it? The place of humor within the discourses of modernity in the MENA region remains an understudied topic; moreover, the roles humor – in various folk, literary, and artistic forms and mediums – has played in the making of Middle Eastern and North African discourses of modernity have rarely, if ever, been seriously examined. This panel seeks papers by scholars working in any discipline or interdisciplinary area in the interpretive social sciences and humanities to submit abstracts for area-focused papers that explore the following questions and topics about the modern humorous discourses of the MENA region: (We take humor to be any cultural text created with the aim of producing laughter as part of its reception, regardless of whether that aim is fulfilled.)

  • how modern forms of humor in Middle Eastern and North African countries have been mobilized to initiate and/or respond to transformations in their gender orders, the relation between the private and the public, the states and societies, the local and national cultures, and the national and global communities;

  • humor and Orientalism; (anti-)Orientalist humor; humor and (de)colonization; postcolonial humor and satire;

  • humor and the collective affect; modernity and self-deprecating humor;

  • the roles which translations and/or adaptations of various forms of humor have played in shaping and directing the discourses of modernity in the Middle East and the Arab world;

  • the traditional and emergent forms of humor and satire on the (social) media; the ways modern and emergent forms of humor in the MENA countries continue, or break with, the classical forms of humor in these countries, and the significance of these continuations and ruptures for discourses of modernity in these countries;

  • the relation of humor to the modern and contemporary sociopolitical movements in the MENA region (e.g., Iranian Constitutional Revolution, the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iranian Green Movement, the Arab Spring, etc.);

  • modern and emergent forms of Arabic, Turkish, and/or Persian folk and literary humor and its relation to Islam, Islamism, nationalism, and/or liberalism;

  • humor as a discursive and rhetorical tool to define and/or defend modernity;

  • conservative and anti-modern humor; humorous representations and/or contestations of modernity and modernization;

  • humor and the construction of modern social identities (foreign, gendered, sexual, ethnic, racial, religious, etc.);

  • modernity and diasporic humor;

  • comparative, contextual study of MENA region’s humor with a focus on these countries’ discourses of modernity.

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