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Laughter in Occupied Palestine


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Though the current political situation in Palestine is more serious than ever, contemporary Palestinian art and film is becoming, paradoxically, increasingly funny. Chrisoula Lionis argues that laughter comes as a response to political uncertainty and the decline in nationalist hope.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Humour? 1. Palestinianess to Palestinianism: Balfour to Beirut 2. Double Exile: 1982 - 1993 3. Oslo: Reaching the Punchline 4. Finding Palestine: Humour and the Delineation of Palestine 5. Occupied Laughter: Humour and Statelessness 6. Who Is Laughing?: Humour and the Boundaries of Identity

About the Author

Chrisoula Lionis is a researcher and cultural producer based between Athens and Manchester. Working at the intersection of visual culture, resilience studies, and cultural politics, she is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures, University of Manchester, UK.


'Chrisoula Lionis succeeds in giving a panoramic and, at the same time, profound view of the field of humorology as a whole and of the relationship between humor and identity in particular. In applying her theoretical insights to the context of Palestinian culture and history gives a comprehensive, fair and objective account of what has happened to Palestine and the Palestinian people over the last hundred years. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in humor and/or the history of the Middle East conflict.' - Professor Sharif Kanaana, Department of Anthropology, Birzeit University and co-author of Speak Bird, Speak Again (1989); 'Lionis offers a marvellous introduction to the way Palestinian art and cinema reflect the shifting dynamics of Palestinian politics, giving us rare insight into the way humor has taken hold in the arts over the past two decades. Rich examples of the ways Palestinian artists brilliantly illuminate the absurdity of their conditions allow Lionis to reflect on how laughter in the face of trauma and political disappointment can actually sustain hope and solidarity.' -Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor, Columbia University

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