Some of my recent work, which explores the relationship between comedy and democracy.

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Tempering Democratic Disillusionment: A taxonomy of political comedy

Comedy has been identified as emerging with the earliest incarnation of democracy (Rusten 2006) and has played a prominent, if underappreciated role in democratic discourse ever since. As an “underdeveloped” field of study (Williams, 1988) comedy offers a unique perspective on discourses of power and citizenship. Comic narratives help citizens and political leaders navigate the ever-present tension between illusion and disillusionment. Tricksters, jesters and bullies inhabit this realm, and their chosen tactics and targets can point us to a better understanding of comedy’s important role in containing conflict and expressing antagonism without the threat of violence. This study attempts to define some broad categories of political humor through an exploration of both mass media and online user-generated content.