Latino Humor in Comparative Perspective

Luis Loya García

in Latino Studies

ISBN: 9780199913701
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:
Latino Humor in Comparative Perspective

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  • History of the Americas
  • US Cultural History


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The following texts will guide researchers in the exploration of the different ways in which humor has been treated and analyzed in studies incorporating US Latino perspectives, and Hispanic or Latin American approaches. The purpose is to foment dialogue about the diverse approaches to humor in time and space. It is a complex subject; exploring it, academics will be exposed to a plethora of theories, practices, understandings and misunderstandings, definitions and redefinitions, and constructions and deconstructions of humor and laughter. Academic disciplines that study humor include psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, literature, performance studies, communication and media studies, linguistics, marketing, religion, sex and gender studies, and translation studies. Traditionally, approaches to humor have been split into three kinds: superiority, relief, and incongruity. The first one implies supremacy over others when we find something funny. The second suggests a release of physiological energy. The third functions as a result of incongruity: impossibility, inappropriateness, ambiguity. The different texts listed in this bibliography provide a dialogue that contributes to an understanding of the mystery and complexity of humor. At times the texts are clearly in conversation, but they will often contradict one another; they will produce more questions than they answer. The selected texts expose diverse genres as well as various aesthetics and offer a panoramic view of techniques that require an active audience capable of deciphering form and structure, complexity and simplicity. Authors present their work in their respective sociohistorical and artistic time and space; they address humor and laughter in diverse styles that play with theme, structure, and language. This assortment of works portrays the nature, complexity, distinctive expressions, and cultural differences of humor and laughter within and outside of the Latino communities. Furthermore, the work presented in this bibliography incites individuals to be critical and reflective on how they laugh and why. Readers of Latino/a studies will find comparative angles regarding humor: from Middle Age to golden-age Spain; from colonial to 20th- and 21st-century Latin America, including the Caribbean and Central America, the Southern Cone, and transnational Latin America; and in national identities, politics, gender and sexuality, and publicity. There is a special interest in US Latino/a humor; this section will continue to grow and expand in future developments of this bibliography.

Article.  11007 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; US Cultural History

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