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      Cultural Politics of Humor in (De)Normalizing Islamophobic Stereotypes

      Islamophobia Studies Journal
      Pluto Journals


            Author and article information

            Islamophobia Studies Journal
            Pluto Journals
            Spring 2014
            : 2
            : 1
            : 59-81
            California Institute of Integral Studies
            © Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, Center for Race and Gender, University of California, Berkeley

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            Social & Behavioral Sciences


            1. The notion of a sense of humor has become immensely significant in 20th-century Western thought, traced by Daniel Wickberg as appearing in the Western history of ideas in the mid-nineteenth century, blossoming into a pervasive, desirable, essential trait ( 2009:157).

            2. “The lack of a significant association between the women's self-rated sense of humor or the SHQ (Sense of Humor Questionnaire) and either the ATW (Attitudes Towards Women Scale) or HF (Hyperfemininity Scale) that no relationship between feminism and sense of humor was demonstrable at least with these instruments in this young adult sample” ( 1996).

            3. Described as “the middle child” of the Axis of Evil, North Korea is less discussed in Axis of Evil Comedy, apart from the running joke of looking for a North Korean comic. In 2007, comedian Wonho Chung, a native Arabic speaker of Korean descent, joined the Axis of Evil Middle East tour.

            4. It is worth recalling The Onion's 2012 headline “Iran Worried US Will Build Its 8,500th Nuclear Weapon.”

            5. Gallows humor is defined by Fine (1983) as, “humor that grows out of a tragic situation in which an oppressed group attempts to transform their misery by poking fun at their oppressors” (173).

            6. Jamil Abu-Wardeh, who founded the Axis of Evil Middle East Comedy Tour, to contribute to the “standup uprising” in the Arab world, conveyed in his 2010 TED talk, “We'd like to thank one man, who over the past decade has been working tirelessly to support comedians all around the world, (projected image of George W. Bush) specifically comedians with a Middle Eastern background”.

            7. In the PBS special “STAND UP: Muslim American Comics Come of Age,” Ahmed Ahmed states, “We can't define who we are on a serious note because nobody will listen. So the only way to do it is to be funny about it” ( et al., 2008).


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