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Maggie Hennefeld, "Death by Laughter: Female Hysteria and Early Cinema" (Columbia UP, 2024)

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Manage episode 408718901 series 3460193
A tartalmat a New Books Network biztosítja. Az összes podcast-tartalmat, beleértve az epizódokat, grafikákat és podcast-leírásokat, közvetlenül a New Books Network vagy a podcast platform partnere tölti fel és biztosítja. Ha úgy gondolja, hogy valaki az Ön engedélye nélkül használja fel a szerzői joggal védett művét, kövesse az itt leírt folyamatot https://hu.player.fm/legal.

Can you really die from laughing too hard? Between 1870 and 1920, hundreds of women suffered such a fate—or so a slew of sensationalist obituaries would have us believe. How could laughter be fatal, and what do these reports of women’s risible deaths tell us about the politics of female joy?

In Death by Laughter: Female Hysteria and Early Cinema (Columbia University Press, 2024), Dr. Maggie Hennefeld reveals the forgotten histories of “hysterical laughter,” exploring how women’s amusement has been theorised and demonised, suppressed and exploited. In nineteenth-century medicine and culture, hysteria was an ailment that afflicted unruly women on the cusp of emotional or nervous breakdown. Cinema, Hennefeld argues, made it possible for women to laugh outrageously as never before, with irreversible social and political consequences. As female enjoyment became a surefire promise of profitability, alarmist tales of women laughing themselves to death epitomised the tension between subversive pleasure and its violent repression.

Dr. Hennefeld traces the social politics of women’s laughter from the heyday of nineteenth-century sentimentalism to the collective euphoria of early film spectatorship, traversing contagious dancing outbreaks, hysteria photography, madwomen’s cackling, cinematic close-ups, and screenings of slapstick movies in mental asylums. Placing little-known silent films and an archive of remarkable, often unusual texts in conversation with affect theory, comedy studies, and feminist film theory, this book makes a timely case for the power of hysterical laughter to change the world.

This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

  continue reading

367 epizódok

Artwork
iconMegosztás
 
Manage episode 408718901 series 3460193
A tartalmat a New Books Network biztosítja. Az összes podcast-tartalmat, beleértve az epizódokat, grafikákat és podcast-leírásokat, közvetlenül a New Books Network vagy a podcast platform partnere tölti fel és biztosítja. Ha úgy gondolja, hogy valaki az Ön engedélye nélkül használja fel a szerzői joggal védett művét, kövesse az itt leírt folyamatot https://hu.player.fm/legal.

Can you really die from laughing too hard? Between 1870 and 1920, hundreds of women suffered such a fate—or so a slew of sensationalist obituaries would have us believe. How could laughter be fatal, and what do these reports of women’s risible deaths tell us about the politics of female joy?

In Death by Laughter: Female Hysteria and Early Cinema (Columbia University Press, 2024), Dr. Maggie Hennefeld reveals the forgotten histories of “hysterical laughter,” exploring how women’s amusement has been theorised and demonised, suppressed and exploited. In nineteenth-century medicine and culture, hysteria was an ailment that afflicted unruly women on the cusp of emotional or nervous breakdown. Cinema, Hennefeld argues, made it possible for women to laugh outrageously as never before, with irreversible social and political consequences. As female enjoyment became a surefire promise of profitability, alarmist tales of women laughing themselves to death epitomised the tension between subversive pleasure and its violent repression.

Dr. Hennefeld traces the social politics of women’s laughter from the heyday of nineteenth-century sentimentalism to the collective euphoria of early film spectatorship, traversing contagious dancing outbreaks, hysteria photography, madwomen’s cackling, cinematic close-ups, and screenings of slapstick movies in mental asylums. Placing little-known silent films and an archive of remarkable, often unusual texts in conversation with affect theory, comedy studies, and feminist film theory, this book makes a timely case for the power of hysterical laughter to change the world.

This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

  continue reading

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