Jokes and Geopolitics at Curiosity Fest

I will be presenting work on late-night comedy and geopolitics done by with a former OU Geography and Env. Sustainability major (Taylor Hatchett) Saturday afternoon at the Oklahoma Humanities’ Curiosity Fest.  

Why would anyone do this? It sounds like like an invitation to do what E.B. White said would kill both a joke and a frog: dissect it.  

With a collection of over 20,000 jokes covering September 2001 to September 2013, one can see the way countries and issues have been discussed by the late-night comedians. Russell Peterson says late-night monologues squander the power of humor to work for change and to point out hypocrisy. I would differ and will present a brief overview of research on Arab Spring-era jokes that were clearly expressing concerns about the situation and the potential US response. Additionally, I will be highlighting work by Taylor Hatchett to visualize such a large collection of jokes, to make them searchable and more useful to scholars (See screenshot below) and the public.

The url for the Tableau site is found here.

A screenshot of the jokes database on Tableau.

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