Don't Mention the War British Wit and Humour Group

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When Americans use irony, they will often immediately qualify it as being so, with a jovial -just kidding-, even if the statement is outrageous and plainly ironic. For instance... A: -If you don't come out tonight, I'm going to have you shot... just kidding.- Of course, being America, this might be true, because they do all own guns and use them on a regular basis (just kidding). Americans can fully appreciate irony. They just don't feel entirely comfortable using it on each other, in case it causes damage. A bit like how we feel about guns. Pegg, Simon. -What are you laughing at?" The Guardian. 10 Feb. 2007. Web. 5 Jan. 2013. In the quotation above Simon Pegg is trying to explain how American and British humours differ. Part of the British national image, both as conceived by others and by the Brits themselves, is that the British have a very peculiar sense of humour that is supposedly darker and drier than American humour (or that of any other nation). In this seminar, students will be offered a survey of British wit and humour to investigate whether this stereotype holds true. After a brief introduction to humour theory (e.g., Henri Bergson; Sigmund Freud) to understand how humour works and what it does, we will turn to application and look for culturally-specific features of British humour to then try to identify the cultural work each of our examples does. Examples discussed will cover different periods and formats. They will include: Literary examples of punning (e.g., Alice in Wonderland) Parody in literature and film (Jonathan Swift: -A Modest Proposal" (1729); Shaun of the Dead (2004);) Drama, or more specifically, the comedy of manners (Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)) Sitcoms (Fawlty Towers (1975-79); The Vicar of Dibley (1994-2007)) Sketch shows (Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-83); Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979-1982); Little Britain (2003-2006)) Stand-up comedy (Russel Brand; Dylan Moran) Studienleistung: Oral presentation or quiz Prüfungsleistung: Term paper

Anglistik - Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft Beachten Sie, dass Sie diesen Kurs nach den Prüfungsordnungen ab 2011 nicht besuchen dürfen, wenn Sie die für dieses Modulelement laut Fachspezifischen Bestimmungen und Modulhandbuch notwendigen Voraussetzungen noch nicht erfüllen. Universität Siegen SoSe 2014 M.A. Peters Maria Verena