The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 5, No 3 (2017)

Book Review. Oring, Elliot (2016). Joking Asides: The Theory, Analysis and Aesthetics of Humour. University Press of Colorado.

Chiara Mazzocconi


Joking Asides: The Theory, Analysis and Aesthetics of Humour is a collection of twelve essays on humour, and more specifically on jokes, written by Elliot Oring, professor emeritus of anthropology and folklorist. In this review, I try to present his work, briefly sketching the author’s main positions and critiques about others’ work and the state of the art on humour research. I would strongly recommend such reading both to scholars and students willing to acquire a broad perspective on humour research and to be exposed to exemplary and acute critical reasoning ideal for inspiring new paths that humour research could take trying to solve the many questions still open after thousands of years.


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Attardo, S. (2006). ‘Cognitive linguistics and humor.’ Humour: International Journal of Humour Research 19 (3), pp. 341-62.

Charles, L., Cohen, S. B., Hines, A., & Davitian, K. (2007). Borat: cultural learnings of America for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan. Fox Home Entertainment.

Coulson, S. (2005). ‘Extemporaneous blending: Conceptual integration in humorous discourse from talk radio’. Style, 39(2), pp. 107-121.

Freud, S. (1905). Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, vol. 6. VIII of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. James Strachey (London, 1960), 42.

Hurley, M. M., Dennett, D. C., & Adams, R. B. (2011). Inside jokes: Using humor to reverse-engineer the mind. MIT press.

Limón, J. E. (1989). ‘Carne, carnales, and the carnivalesque: Bakhtinian batos, disorder, and narrative discourses’. American Ethnologist, 16(3), 471-486.

McGraw, A. P., & Warren, C. (2010). ‘Benign violations: Making immoral behavior funny’. Psychological Science, 21(8), pp. 1141-1149.

Elliot, O. (2003). Engaging humor. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Oring, E. (1992). Jokes and their relations. University Press of Kentucky.

Shifman, L., & Thelwall, M. (2009). ‘Assessing global diffusion with Web memetics: The spread and evolution of a popular joke’. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(12), pp. 2567-2576.

Tsakona, V. (2013). ‘Okras and the Metapragmatic Stereotypes of Humour’. Dynel, Developments in Linguistic Humor, pp. 25-48.