Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Pg. 99: Philip Scepanski's "Tragedy Plus Time"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Tragedy Plus Time: National Trauma and Television Comedy by Philip Scepanski.

About the book, from the publisher:
Following the most solemn moments in recent American history, comedians have tested the limits of how soon is “too soon” to joke about tragedy. Comics confront the horrifying events and shocking moments that capture national attention and probe the acceptable, or “sayable,” boundaries of expression that shape our cultural memory. In Tragedy Plus Time, Philip Scepanski examines the role of humor, particularly televised comedy, in constructing and policing group identity and memory in the wake of large-scale events.

Tragedy Plus Time is the first comprehensive work to investigate tragedy-driven comedy in the aftermaths of such traumas as the JFK assassination and 9/11, as well as during the administration of Donald Trump. Focusing on the mass publicization of television comedy, Scepanski considers issues of censorship and memory construction in the ways comedians negotiate emotions, politics, war, race, and Islamophobia. Amid the media frenzy and conflicting expressions of grief following a public tragedy, comedians provoke or risk controversy to grapple publicly with national traumas that all Americans are trying to understand for themselves.
Learn more about Tragedy Plus Time at the University of Texas Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Tragedy Plus Time.

--Marshal Zeringue