The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 7, No 2 (2019)

Hybrid humour as cultural translation: The example of Beur humour

Merouan Bendi


Humour is a phenomenon that is pervasive in the human heritage in all its different ethnic and cultural diversity; however, humorous effects might exceed the mere pleasure or laughter to serve as a strategy of survival. Hybrid humour has an important societal role in breaking psychological barriers between people as well as in denouncing dominant discourses, criticizing realities and promoting resistance. This paper investigates hybrid humour as cultural translation, particularly Beur verbal humour in France. The first section of this paper explores the notion of cultural translation. In the second section, in order to conceptualize humour from different angles, I attempt to highlight the main theories in Humour Studies. The third part is devoted to investigate the hybridization of cultures from a postcolonial perspective, and subsequently interpret the notion of hybrid humour as a translational act. Finally, I analyze a set of hybrid jokes made by the Franco-Algerian humourist Fellag.


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