Historical Comedy on Screen (Book)

Subverting History with Humour

Edited by Hannu Salmi

In 1893 Friedrich Engels branded history “the cruelest goddess of all.” This sorrowful vision of the past is deeply rooted in the Western imagination, and history is thus presented as a joyless playground of inevitability rather than a droll world of possibilities. There are few places this is more evident than in historical cinema which tends to portray the past in a somber manner. Historical Comedy on Screen examines this tendency paying particular attention to the themes most difficult to laugh at and exploring the place where comical and historical storytelling intersect. The book emphasizes the many oft-overlooked comical renderings of history and asks what they have to tell us if we begin to take them seriously.

Category: Performing Arts

Edition

Hannu Salmi is professor of cultural history at the University of Turku in Finland and coeditor of the series Studies on Popular Culture, also published by Intellect.

Introduction: Mad History of the World 
Hannu Salmi, University of Turku
 
PART I: COMEDIANS AND COMIC REPRESENTATIONS
Salmi
 
Buster Keaton’s Comedies of Southern History: Our Hospitality and The General 
Susan E. Linville, University of Denver
 
From Ideal Husbands to Berserk Gargoyles: Comic Representations of the British Past in the 1950s and 1960s 
Harri Kilpi, University of Helsinki
 
Comedians and Romance: History and Humour in Kalabalik 
David Ludvigsson, University of Uppsala
Woody Allen and History 
Maurice Yawocar, University of Calgary
 
PART II: NO LAUGHING MATTER
Salmi
 
No Laughing Matter? Comedy and The Spanish Civil War 
David Archibald, University of Glasgow
 
A Killer Joke? World War Two in Post-War British Television and Film Comedy 
Rami Mähkä, University of Turku
 
“Holocaust-Nostalgia”, Humor and Irony: The Case of Pizza in Auschwitz 
Hagai Dagan, Sapir College
 
Comedy and Counter-history 
Marcia Landy, University of Pittsburg
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