Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice presents the most current international scholarship on the complexity and subversive potential of women's comedic speech, literature, and performance. Earlier comedy theorists such as Freud and Bergson did not envision women as either the agents or audiences of comedy, only as its targets. Only more recently have scholarly studies of comedy begun to recognize and historicize women's contributions to-and political uses of-comedy. The essays collected here demonstrate the breadth of current scholarship on gender and comedy, spanning centuries of literature and a diversity of methodologies.
Through a reconsideration of literary, theatrical, and mass media texts from the Classical period to the present, Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice responds to the historical marginalization and/or trivialization of both women and comedy. The essays collected in this volume assert the importance of recognizing the role of women and comedy in order to understand these texts, their historical contexts, and their possibilities and limits as models for social engagement. In the spirit of comedy itself, these analyses allow for opportunities to challenge and reevaluate the theoretical approaches themselves.
Peter Dickinson is professor of English at Simon Fraser University. Anne Higgins is associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University. Diana Solomon is associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University. Paul Matthew St. Pierre is professor of English at Simon Fraser University. Sean Zwagerman is associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.
Contents Acknowledgments List of Illustrations Preface 000 Regina Barreca Introduction: Dorothy Parker's Headache Peter Dickinson, Anne Higgins, Paul Matthew St. Pierre, Diana Solomon, Sean Zwagerman Part I: Histories, Politics and Forms Laughing Aphrodite Laurie O'Higgins Comedy in Ancient Greece and Rome: What Was Funny, Whose Humor Was It, and How Do We Explain the Jokes without Killing Them? Barbara Gold Mary and Her Sisters Anne Higgins Feminist Humor without Women: The Challenge of Reading (in) the Middle Ages Lisa Perfetti Laugh, or Forever Hold Your Peace: Comic Crowd Control in Margaret Cavendish's Dramatic Prologues and Epilogues Diana Solomon Domestic Manners of the Americans: A Transatlantic Phenomenon Linda Morris Part II: Approaches, Texts and Audiences The Business of British Burlesque Jacky Bratton The Comic Bodies and Obscene Voices of Burlesque Joanna Mansbridge Elsie and Doris Waters: Four Songs Paul Matthew St. Pierre "I'm Daphne": On the Comedy of Cross-Dressing and Metamorphosis in Wilder's Some Like it Hot, Lubitsch's I Don't Want to be a Man, and Ovid's Metamorphoses Kay Young Biting the Hand that Feeds Her: Patronage and Comedy in Nineteenth-Century Theatre Gilli Bush-Bailey Out of the Box: Comedy in Disability Theater by Canadian Women Kirsty Johnston Part III: Topics, Theories and Practices Humoring the Female Pol: Irony, Consciousness-Raising, and "Third-Culture" Discourse Tarez Samra Graban An American Treasure: The Wit and Wisdom of Ann Coulter A Cautionary Tale: Ann Coulter and the Failure of Humor Sean Zwagerman Lesbian Stand-Up Comics and the Politics of Laughter Joanne Gilbert Layla Siddiqui as Holy Fool in Little Mosque on the Prairie Shannon Hengen Postmodernity and the Gendered Uses of Political Satire Lisa Colletta Coda: Try This at Home Peter Dickinson Bibliography Contributors Index