Publication details

Humor and Intertextuality : Looking for Humor in Between Texts and Targets

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Year of publication 2018
Type Workshop
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The panel aims to bring together contributions that offer novel insights into the interface between humor and intertextuality. Intertextuality is crucial for humor in that it consists of the body of background knowledge that humor producers can draw on to create their intended effects. More specifically, humor intertextually draws on other texts, recycling shared cultural knowledge and applying it in novel situations as well as in novel media and humor genres. We are particularly interested in how humor shifts targets: from traditional ones to more recent ones, and how intertextuality recontextualizes traditional forms of humor into new ones. Another dimension of intertextuality that is significant for the present discussion is its ability to multiply the targets of humor: besides the person, ideas, acts, institutions denigrated through humor, intertextual allusions highlight the differences between those ‘in the know’ and those ‘out of the know’, thus rendering the latter potential targets as well. It therefore seems that both humor and intertextuality are powerful mechanisms for constructing group boundaries and articulating ingroup exclusivity. In this sense, this panel proposal aims to attract papers with not only a descriptive orientation, but also a critical one, offering explanations of the humorous phenomena within the broader contexts of the interlocutors’ social and cultural practices and in view of the dominant ideological presuppositions attested and negotiated therein. We wish to place particular emphasis on the ideological presuppositions behind the texts and the targets that are exploited in establishing intertextual links across humorous (and perhaps non humorous) texts. We thus aim to show how alignment and consensus between humor producers and recipients are (more or less tacitly) constructed in diverse communicative environments and genres, from political discourse to online social media.
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