Synopses & Reviews
How do various forms of comedy—including stand-up, satire, and film and television—transform contemporary invocations of nationalism and citizenship in youth cultures? And how are attitudes about gender, race, and sexuality transformed through comedic performances on social media? The Cultural Set Up of Comedy
seeks to answer these questions by examining comedic performances by Chris Rock and Louis C.K., news parodies The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
and The Colbert Report
, the role of satire in the Arab Spring, and the groundbreaking performances by women in Bridesmaids
. Breaking with the usual cultural studies debates over how to conceptualize youth, the book instead focuses on the comedic cultural and political scripts that frame them.
"Day deftly demonstrates the power of satire as a means of political critique and engagement. Casting a wide net, she examines how such critiques are performed in numerous media and genres, on and off the screen. Day adds an important new voice, advancing significant theoretical insights. This is a 'don't miss' volume." --Jeffrey P. Jones, author of Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Political Engagement
"In this compelling new book, Day manages to not only persuasively argue why political satire has gained such a foothold in our popular culture, but also convincingly argues why it matters." --liminalities.net, July 2011 Indiana University Press
"Satire and Dissent is an intriguing dissection of concourse in American society today and its impact on the the politics of the people." --The Midwest Book Review, June 2011
"The use of irony and satire in politics... has become a leading characteristic of left-liberal politics in the new millennium. Amber Day argues persuasively why this has come to be, while explaining its mechanics and exploring its function and effect." --Stephen Duncombe, author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy Indiana University Press
"Saitre and Dissent redefines what it means to agree to disagree and so is a worthy addition to the literature on contemporary satire and poliltical humor." --Rhetoric and Public Affairs
"An excellent book, rich with detail and argument, sparkling with intelligence. Day illustrates how irony and satire are vital components of today's political system, and she charts their performative uses across popular culture with skill and panache." --Jonathan Gray, author of Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts
"Amber Day's critical study of parodic television shows, satiric documentaries, and ironic activism reveals how comedy became an important means for political dissent during the past decade, and why it continues to be a vital resource for democratic renewal." --Robert Hariman, Northwestern University
“Webber’s allusions to state-sponsored satire as politics (even war) by other means importantly align comedy with propagandistic news sources and attempt at providing ideological cues to people through perverse blends of information and entertainment.”
In an age when Jon Stewart frequently tops lists of most-trusted newscasters, the films of Michael Moore become a dominant topic of political campaign analysis, and activists adopt ironic, fake personas to attract attention--the satiric register has attained renewed and urgent prominence in political discourse. Amber Day focuses on the parodist news show, the satiric documentary, and ironic activism to examine the techniques of performance across media, highlighting their shared objective of bypassing standard media outlets and the highly choreographed nature of current political debate.
About the Author
Amber Day is Assistant Professor of Performance Studies in the English and Cultural Studies Department at Bryant University.
Table of Contents
1. The Cultural Set Up of Comedy
2. Re-signifying the F-word: Comedy as Political Resistance or Entrenchment?
3. Breaking the ‘Crass Ceiling: Women as Comedians
4. The Tone of Political Comedy in The Daily Show and The Colbert Report
5. Globalizing Political Humor
Conclusion: After Comedy