American Comedy

American Comedy: Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives
In this course we will focus on how American comedy has shaped, and been shaped by, particular cultural and ethnic sensibilities. Beginning with the 1960s, we will analyze the developments and transformations in comic personae, techniques, and what can serve as comedic material. Students will have the opportunity to discuss comedy as a genre of entertainment and mode of discourse. Some of the guiding questions include: how has American comedy enabled or disrupted a sense of shared cultural sensibilities in particular historical moments? In what ways does ethnic humor facilitate conversations about conflicts and controversies in ways that bring about new understanding and solidarities, or lay bare societal fissures? How does comedy imbue the person holding the mic with the power to grapple with, and even transgress, social and political norms?
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AMST 1019

All Sections in Winter 2018

Winter 2018

AMST1019A-W18 Seminar (Finley)