Introduction Why “laughter”?

in An Invitation to Laughter

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226434766
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226434759 | DOI:
Introduction Why “laughter”?

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This book is not a comparative study of “laughter” or “joke structure.” Rather it recalls, among other things, situations and anecdotes that made the author, and those around him, laugh—incidents so vivid that he has never forgotten them, stories he continues to tell to friends and colleagues, for amusement more than anything else. The material for this book is drawn from the author's personal observations and daily interactions. He narrates these episodes—stories and incidents that were either truly funny or so poignant you had to laugh—as his professional autobiography. It was laughter that made him choose anthropology as a profession in the first place. In this book, he presents an account of his career as an Arab Christian anthropologist working mainly in and on the Arab world. He also relates some of his experiences in West Africa, as well as the pleasures and agonies he experienced while teaching, researching, and writing anthropology in societies whose interest in other cultures is practically nil. The author focuses on his research in Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen.

Keywords: laughter; autobiography; West Africa; Arab world; research; anthropology; Yemen; Lebanon; Bahrain

Chapter.  2777 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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