This talk has already happened

Dangerous Laughter: Egalitarianism and the Batek of Peninsular Malaysia

Speaker(s)
Description

In the Batek’s forest, laughter and mockery are often subject to taboo, and inappropriate laughter or mockery can cause storms, madness, ill-health, or even death. However, although these taboos are viewed and described with utmost seriousness, people also find great pleasure in laughing together and making jokes. In fact, this pleasure is often intensified when the laughter or joke is forbidden and risks catastrophe. This sets up a dynamic whereby it is largely up to individuals whether they choose to follow the taboos, or to ignore them and succumb to the pleasure of sharing in subversive laughter. Speaking to debates on power and ethics, this paper therefore both outlines the Batek’s laughter taboos, and asks how managing the conflicting demands of laughter shapes people’s ethical values, particularly in relation to power, authority, and egalitarianism.


Other talks in this term

This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Yasmine Musharbash
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Robyn Spencer
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Anthony Auerbach
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Chris Knight
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Monica Janowski
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Stephen Lyon
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Alice Rudge
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Joe Cain
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Chris Knight
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Camilla Power
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Daiara Tukano
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Chris Knight
This talk has already happened
Speaker(s): Chris Knight