Leveling Jokes in a Nishnaabe Context


Mary Magoulick (Georgia College)

Some jokes collected from Nishnaabe people are cross-cultural, yet consultants see them as reflecting an ethos of their close-knit community’s humor. That the jokes are not unique to a particular culture demonstrates dynamism. Though consultants particularize the jokes to their community, they also recognize their dynamism and universal appeal; some jokes also suggest potential feminist significance. One consultant articulates humor as "leveling" communities, making it universally appealing. Especially during times of intense cultural change and challenges, like feeling on the periphery of American culture, humor helps heal and re-center communities.

Part of 52-03 Jokes, Humor, and Tradition, Friday, October 22, 10:30 am–12:00 pm