Russian Humor

Understanding modern Russian culture is hardly possible without an understanding of Russian humor. Russian jokelore is a source of direct quotations, allusions, and pithy sayings used in Russian mass media and modern literature. Jokes are very popular in Russia, and joke-telling is practiced in every part of society, at all ages. Understanding Russian jokes requires not only good knowledge of Russian, but also general cultural knowledge. The analysis of what is taken for granted in Russian jokes shows that the conceptualization of the world in Russian jokelore (e.g., the vision of family life) differs not only from what is presented in American jokes but also from the worldview characteristic of ordinary Russian discourse. For many jokes, the audience must be in the know about recent political events, or popular TV advertising; in addition, they should be able to recognize the main characters that act in the fictitious world of the jokes. We will focus on different humor genres, such as popular Soviet genres “chastushki” and “anekdoty” (canned jokes) and modern Russian netlore, including memes, postcards, and “pirozhki.”
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RUSS 6608

All Sections in Summer 2018 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

Summer 2018 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

RUSS6608A-L18 Lecture (Shmeleva)