Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3258: The Politics of Humour

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

Students taking the module will learn about competing theoretical approaches to the study of laughter and its social functions, learn to analyse written and visual satires from the 18th to the 20th century, study contemporary comedies, and analyse the potential limitations of using ridicule as a political weapon or mode of resistance.  In the second term you will get a chance to develop an in-depth case study on a particularly effective (or ineffective) political use of humour drawn from history or the recent past. By the end of the module you will appreciate the importance of humour to the study of politics. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Use different theoretical frameworks to study the various roles played by humour in political life
2. Treat humour as a gateway into understanding the values, beliefs, and power structures of a given society
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Explain the place of laughter in the history of philosophy effectively
4. Analyse humour as a form of political rhetoric
Personal and Key Skills5. Appreciate the role of humour in critical thinking
6. Demonstrate effective communication skills