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03 June 2024

Feminism and the Religious Significance of Laughing Bodies

Dr Nicole Graham publishes new book on 3 June 2024.

2024_05_30_Feminism and the Religious Significance of Laughing Bodies

Dr Nicole Graham, Lecturer in Ethics and Values at King's Department of Theology & Religious Studies has announced her new book, identifing the significance of the body through a feminist reconceptualisation of laughter as a means of insight.

It positions itself within the emerging scholarship on religion and humour but moves away from the emphasis on humour and instead focuses on the place and role of laughter. Through a feminist reading of laughter, which is grounded in the philosophical and psychological works of William James, the book emphasises the importance of the body to offer an exploration of laughter as a means of insight. In doing so, it challenges the classificatory orders of knowledge by recognising and arguing for the value of the body in the creation of knowledge and understanding. To demonstrate the centrality of the body for insight laughter, and thus the creation of knowledge, this book engages with laughter within three thematic areas: religious experience, gendered experiences of laughter, and the ethics of laughter.

This book will be of interest to students and researchers in religious studies, theology, gender studies, humour studies, philosophy, and the history of ideas.

This book is part of my endeavour to highlight the presence of laughter, humour, and play in religious traditions of the past and the present. Given how prevalent laughter is in our lives, it is, perhaps, surprising that we rarely take the time to reflect on it. I was interested in exploring how the reception of laughter varies depending on who is laughing, where they are laughing, and why they are laughing. As I discovered, contemporary answers to these questions are grounded in a long history of theological, philosophical, and ethical thought. I argue that the body that is laughing matters and focusing on the gendered experience of laughter I propose the potential for a feminist laughter. More specifically, I seek to demonstrate that laughter has the potential to be a means of insight when we recognise that the body can play an important role in the production of knowledge.

Dr Nicole Graham, Lecturer in Ethics and Values

Nicole offers a discount code here: SMA22 - until 31 July 2024.

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Nicole Graham

Lecturer in Ethics and Values