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[Commlist] CfC-Ridicule and Humour in the Global South: The politics of laughter in the social media age-An edited collection

Tue Mar 17 14:55:54 GMT 2020

*Proposed title: *Ridicule and Humour in the Global South:  The politics of laughter in the social media age

Ridicule and humour, while making people laugh and at times appreciate their conditions of existence or even push them to make alterations – as a capacitor for change – has been one of the accessible ways of coping or bringing about change in society. In some cases it has been the dictators’ ways of resisting change. Daily we encounter humorous engagements thanks to the digitized public spheres which have made these accessible on the click of a button. While humour, ridicule and comedy could be seen as lighter and pleasant forms of and to human communications, identity markers, they have the potential of engendering hatred, violence and hatred based on social, political, ethnic or racial lines. However, in some cases attempts at humorously depicting societal ills and perceived realities have led to debates and attitudes that may drive people apart, moreso in ethnically or racially fractious communities like South Africa where the privileged few stained with ‘whiteliness’ and white privilege insist that the world be seen, and understood to function only through the way they see and understand it. In other cases, humour has been critical at providing people with an avenue to face their fears especially during disasters and pandemics like the Coronavirus (Covi-19) and others, political crises such as coups and stolen elections and many others.

This edited book collection attempts to link crucial nodal points in politics, identity and humour in the digital age in the Global South. This work is different from other seminal works on humour and politics which have largely not focused on the digital age where ordinary citizens’ agency has been amplified and they have participated in some debates in ways unimagined before. For instance most researches on humour look at newspaper cartoons, rumour and folklore and these are disseminated through platforms whose reach is limited. This book project therefore attempts at looking at how digital media have made debates and spread of humour, politics and identity ubiquitous. The book will offers a nexus between identity, ridicule, humour and digital media where ordinary people’s engagements with those issues considered taboo such as politics and identity are brought to the fore and engaged with. The book is expected to draw a wide array of chapters that problematize and theorise humour  and ridicule in the digital age. Underlying this humour and ridicule are of course issues that deal with the political, be it at national, global or even village level. Identity, too, has been a critical aspect on the menu of the ridiculous and comical especially in Africa where racial and ethnic tensions remain rife and pronounced. The role of the digital media in this regard remains undertheorized in academic works and this book partly covers that lacuna. Further the chapters are to gauge how these discussions have liberated certain debates and what this means for coping or encouraging agential citizenship to foster change, cope with difficulties and how dictators use different forms of humour as suppression or resistance strategies.

Topics expected to be covered include theories of humour and ridicule in Africa in the digital age,

Humour in African politics,

Humour and disasters in the digital age

  Humour and ridicule in the digital cultures,

  Humour and ridicule,

Humour and desensitization,

Humour, identity, ethnicity and race,

Humour and art,

Humour and politics,

Humour and the marginalized,

Humour on social media,

  Humour, politics and culture,

Humour and ethics in the digital age,

Humour and taboo,

Humour as coping mechanism and humour as disciplining the political elite.

Please email chapter proposals of up to 500 words in length, as well as
brief author biographical information, to the volume editor at (shepherd.mpofu /at/ <mailto:(shepherd.mpofu /at/> and copy (semang.mathobela /at/ <mailto:(semang.mathobela /at/> . These should be sent through by the 30^th of April 2020. Decisions on proposals will be made and communicated to authors around May 20, 2020.

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