641203 Phenomena of Cultural Contact: Intercultural Phenomena of subversive laughter. From Mikhail Bakhtin to Kalle Lasn.

summer semester 2014 | Last update: 15.05.2014 Place course on memo list
641203
Phenomena of Cultural Contact: Intercultural Phenomena of subversive laughter. From Mikhail Bakhtin to Kalle Lasn.
UE 2
5
every 2 weeks
annually
German

This course deals with the connections between Mikhail Bakhtin's theories of carnival and contemporary artistic and socio-political forms of a subversive culture of laughter. Such modern strategies of laughter, practiced for example by Kalle Lasn (Adbusters, Occupy), Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine, Capitalism: A Love Story) or the Russian Street-art-group "Vojna", are undoubtedly one of the most powerful forms of non-violent resistance. But how do these and other strategies of laughter interact with the theories of the Russian literary scholar Mikhail Bakhtin? Answers on this question will be developed in cooperation with the students during the course.

 

In his dissertation "Rabelais and His World" (1940 ) Mikhail Bakhtin traced the strategies of subversive laughter used by François Rabelais in his novel "Gargantua and Pantagruel" back to their ancient roots in the works of Lucius Apuleius and Heliodorus. Thus he established the thesis of a universal subversive culture of laughter, which always appears when (political and/or cultural) power systems try to preserve their supremacy by means of restrictive control and violence. Of course, Bakhtin's criticism was primarily directed against Stalin's dictatorship; but what forms of laughter turn today, at the beginning of the 21st Century, against containment, control and domination? In this course Bakhtin's Theory of Carnival and his thoughts of subversive laughter will be connected with artistic and/or socio-political phenomena of the past 15 years. In this context, for example, Kalle Lasn has to be mentioned. The founder of "Adbusters" and co-initiator of "Occupy" described his strategies, which have much in common with the Bakhtinian theory of subversive laughter, even in 1999 in his manifesto "Culture Jamming". This and similar cross-cultural phenomena will be analyzed and discussed during the course.

Bakhtin's theory of carnival will be presented in lectures by the lecturer. The various strategies of modern laughter will be developed by the students in learning and discussion groups.

 

To complete the course the students have to take part in learning groups and prepare keynote speeches during the semester. At the end of the semester a short paper (circumference about 3-5 pages) has to be written. In addition, the active participation in the discussions will be part of the rating.

 

1.    Bachtin, Michail M.: Literatur und Karneval. Zur Romantheorie und Lachkultur. Frankfurt a. M : Fischer 1990. (Fischer-Taschenbücher 7434).

2.    Bachtin, Michail M.: Rabelais und seine Welt. Volkskultur als Gegenkultur. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp 1995. (In Auszügen)

3.    Moore, Michael: Here Comes Trouble: Mein Leben als Querschläger. München u.a.: Piper 2012.

4.    Lasn, Kalle: Culture Jamming. Die Rückeroberung der Zeichen. Freiburg im Breisgau: Orange-Press 2005.

5.    Graeber, David: Inside Occupy. Hamburg: Campus 2012.

not applicable
11.03.2014
Group 0
Date Time Location
Tue 2014-03-11
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2014-03-25
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2014-04-08
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2014-05-06
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2014-05-20
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2014-06-03
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2014-06-24
10.15 - 13.30 40123 40123 Barrier-free