Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Historic anthropology of women's laughter: cultural politics for equal participation in European democracies

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.03.02  Humanities  Anthropology  Social and cultural anthropology 

Code Science Field
H000  Humanities   
S220  Social sciences  Cultural anthropology, ethnology 
H125  Humanities  Philosophical anthropology 
H210  Humanities  Ancient history 
Women's culture of laughter, pattern of Ancient Athenian democracy in Europe, critique of exclusion and inequality, epistemological relevance of culture of laughter, crtique of ideologies
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (1)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  14323  PhD Svetlana Slapšak  Humanities  Head  2003 - 2005 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
Movements for equal rights for women are much older than historic feminism. The aim of this research is to locate and analyze the exclusion of women from the very historic and cultural nucleus of the concept of democracy in Europe, Ancient Athenian democracy, and to put it in a conceptual framework of inequality within contemporary philosophy, cultural phaenomena in which gender inequality is presented/performed, and above all the Ancient theatre. The culture of laughter, as theorized by Michail Bakhtin, offers itself to such an analysis of Aristophanes' comedies, Plato's Dialogues, Thucydides' history, and fragments of works by women authors. Visual presentations of women will be also analyzed in comparison with the textual parodies and other techniques of laughter pertaining to gender. The continuity of the women's culture of laughter, as one of the most successfull strategies of expansion into the public space will be examined in texts by women, authors like Lucian, Cherondas, schools of philosophy, "second sophistics", Menander, but especially in Athenaeus' Deipnosophistai, book 13, and in visual presentation. The continuity of women's culture of laughter can be also perceived in the reception of Aristophanes' comedies in European cultural history up to today. Laughter as a cultural construct (as well as gender) is analyzed on the level of language and stylistics, rituals and beliefs, comparative anthropology and ethnology, history of the body, performance of social roles, and as the area of construct of the Other in society and culture. From the point of view of the European invention of the Ancient democracy as the legitimate pattern, without a reflection of the total exclusion of women from the "legitimate pattern", women's culture of laughter becomes a privileged field of research of European history of institutions and of mentalities. Laughter is also a strategy of social and cultural critique in power groups: structures of distribution of power, elites, intellectuals. The theoretical framework of the research thus expands to defining techniques of women's writing, and to historic location of the culture of laughter inside ritual practices of cultural and political subversion of ruling discourses; it also expands to the field of epistemological relevance of culture of laughter techniques as important elements of critique of knowledge and standard argumentation. A specific aspect of the culture of laughter will be researched in the context of ideologies: taboos, censorship, repression against laughter.
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