POLS-Y200: Politics & Comedy: From Sophocles to South Park

POLS-Y200 — Spring 2023

Christopher DeSante
LH 130 Lindley Hall
Days and Times
Mondays and Wednesdays 1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Course Description

This course comprises the following broad themes: humor theory, how humor is political, and ethics in comedy. The first third of this course explores the theory of humor, and asks: why do we laugh, and what are the universal aspects of humor? The second part of the course is political in nature, focusing on humor theory through the lens of politics: how does social standing (superiority/inferiority) relate to humor, and when does performative humor become an explicitly political act?  The third and final theme has to do with ethical questions surrounding comedians providing social commentary: does how a comedian presents dictate the jokes the can (should) or cannot (should not) tell? Course pre-requisite: a sense of humor.