Blog Post

Hello HASTAC! Introduction Blog

Hello fellow HASTAC-ers! This blog post is a bit late, but I thought I would take this opportunity to re-introduce myself and my work now that I have a community of other HASTAC scholars to meet. 

This is my first year with HASTAC, and I am very excited to share ideas and opportunities. My primary interests are in comedy and digital platforms for social and political discourse. My work has thus far dealt with The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Sarah Silverman, and other high-profile satirists involved in political efforts. I am most fascinated by the ways that the digital world impacts comedic messages and their meanings, or changes the functions of comedic enterprises. I ask questions concerning how and why comedic texts find their audiences, what social or political tensions such texts reflect, and how comedic messages impact audiences in their particular contexts.

Implicit in these questions are issues of what it means for an audience to be "activated" by comedy, how to distinguish sincere political motivation from comedies and satires that use political content to distract or condemn politics. Just what is the significance of using satire with political messages in a digitally-informed world? How can we describe the changes occurring in communication technology in terms of their social and cultural impacts? My work uses comedy as an indicator of social, political and cultural change, with an awareness towards the industrial process of comedy writing and digital dissemination.

If any of these topics or ideas interest you, please contact me. I am interested in forming a group on comedy and digital technology. If you have any interest in being part of that group, please let me know and I will be happy to get things started.

Again, welcome everyone! I look forward to a rich year in discussion and sharing.

Caroline Claiborn, GTF, English Dept.

University of Oregon 

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