Comedy, Creativity, and Culture: A Metamodern Perspective

By Michael M. Meany, Tom Clark and Liisi Laineste.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00
Published online: November 3, 2014 $US25.00

The construction of humour is a creative activity, but humour theories tend to focus on the structural elements of a text, the social purpose and reception of humour, the cognitive impacts and affective effects of humour, or the clash of incongruous ideas that exist before the producer and the audience. However, the production of humour, in particular the production process of comedy, has received little theoretical attention. Neither creativity nor humour exists in a context-free cultural vacuum; any general theory of culture should have something to say about both. For example, the Western conception of creativity is concerned with novelty and originality while that of Eastern societies is more concerned with the perfection of a tradition. Comedy draws from both tradition and novelty. This paper will argue that a disjunction exists between creativity theory and humour theory as illuminated by the relationship of theory and practice in comedy production. Theories of creativity, such as Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model which attempts to illuminate the creative production process, can be useful in bridging the gap between the theory and practice of humour creation. This metamodern perspective on comedy will collapse the binary oppositions of novelty and tradition, and theory and practice.

Keywords: Creativity, Comedy, Metamodernism

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 11, Issue 4, October 2014, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 517.236KB). Published online: November 3, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 514.495KB)).

Dr. Michael M. Meany

Senior Lecturer, School of Design, Communication and IT, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Dr. Tom Clark

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication and the Arts, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Liisi Laineste

Senior Researcher, Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, Estonia