In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, this collectionwhich gathers scholars in the fields of race, ethnicity, and humorseems especially urgent. Inspired by Denmark’s Muhammad cartoons controversy, the contributors inquire into the role that racial and ethnic stereotypes play in visual humor and the thin line that separates broad characterization as a source of humor from its power to shock or exploit. The authors investigate the ways in which humor is used to demean or give identity to racial, national, or ethnic groups and explore how humor works differently in different media, such as cartoons, photographs, film, video, television, and physical performance. This is a timely and necessary study that will appeal to scholars across disciplines.
About the Author
ANGELA ROSENTHAL was a professor of art history at Dartmouth College. ADRIAN W. B. RANDOLPH is the Leon E. Williams Professor of Art History at Dartmouth. DAVID BINDMAN is emeritus professor of the history of art at University College London.
Table of Contents
PrefaceAdrian W. B. Randolph • Introduction. No Laughing Matter: Visual Humor in Practice and TheoryDavid Bindman • Carnivalesque and Grotesque: What Bakhtin’s Laughter Tells Us about Art and CultureKobena Mercer • PART 1. ENCOUNTERING HUMOR: RACIAL, NATIONAL, AND ETHNIC STEREOTYPES • Bartolomeo Passarotti and “Comic” Images of Black Africans in Early Modern Italian ArtPaul H. D. Kaplan • “If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?”: Stereotypes of Jews in English Graphic Humor of the Georgian EraFrank Felsenstein • James Gillray, Charles James Fox, and the Abolition of the Slave Trade: Caricature and Displacement in the Debate over ReformKatherine Hart • The Other WithinAllen Hockley • Material Culture, Slavery, and Governability in Colonial Cuba: The Humorous Lessons of the Cigarette MarquillasAgnes Lugo-Ortiz • PART 2. RACIAL HUMOR AND THEORIES OF MODERN MEDIA • Fake Nostalgia for the Indian: The Argentinean Fiction of National Identity in the Comics of PatoruzúAna Merino • Passing for History: Humor and Early Television HistoriographyMark Williams • Comical Conflations: Racial Identity and the Science of PhotographyTanya Sheehan • PART 3. PERFORMATIVE COMEDY AND RACE • Laughter as Performance: Some Eighteenth-Century ExamplesDavid Bindman • Bittersweet Blackness: Humor and the Assertion of Ethnic Identity in Eleanor Antin’s Eleanora AntinovaCherise Smith • Traveling Humor Reimagined: The Comedic Unhinging of the Western Gaze in Caribbean PostcardsSam Vásquez • Springtime for Hitler Every Year: Dani Levy’s Hitler Comedy My Führer (2007)Veronika Fuechtner • Contributors • Index