Laughing All The Way To EPIC

Presentation slide: two circular photos against different tones of green background. Left is a white chicken, right is a country road, and the work "vs" is in the middle. So it represents Chicken versus Road.
EVAN HANOVER Conifer Research Humor is no mere “sense;” it is a social and cultural practice that enables each one of us to construct and recognize novel meanings and connections within our lives and worlds. The idea that humor relies on incongruity that defies our expectations has been around for millennia, but the mid-20th century work of Arthur Koestler elevated humor to be creatively on par with other artistic and intellectual feats. In this PechaKucha, I link my personal fascination/obsession with humor to Koestler’s concept of ‘bisociation’ – the connection of two seemingly unrelated or incommensurate frames of reference – to tell the story of how I became the ethnographer I am today. Beginning with my discovery of the work of George Carlin and moving through a life of evolving engagement with humor – academically, at work, and on stage – I have developed the belief that what we laugh at can help us arrive at novel ideas and make our thought (and therefore action) nimble and resilient in the face of...