• Course Number: ENGL 197
  • Prerequisites:

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  • Quarter: Fall 2024

This course explores the surprising humor of contemporary literature and film about climate change. In western cultures, humor is sometimes taken as unable to express what is “important and essential,” in the words of scholar Mikhail Bakhtin. We will explore the more complex stories to be told about—and through—humorous arts. From comic horror to satire, surrealism, and absurdism, writers and directors use the traditions of laughter to explore the possibilities of understanding, imagination, playfulness, and engagement in relation to climate change. For centuries, scholars have debated the meanings and implications of laughter and humor. Students will be introduced to some of the major research on humor, including theories that associate humor with relief, incongruity (“the derangement of sense”), playfulness and social connection, and superiority.


  • Schedule & Location
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