MELUS

A journal concentrating on multi-ethnic American literature for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 4, Winter

Delivering the Punch Line: Racial Combat as Comedy in Gus Lee's 'China Boy.'(Ethnic Humor)
The recent explosion of Asian American literature, sparked by the success of such works as Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, has been viewed somewhat ambivalently. Supportive of the diversity and multitude of new voices,...
Humor and Ethnic Stereotypes in Vaudeville and Burlesque
The halcyon days of the American vaudeville and burlesque theater, roughly from 1890 through 1910, compose the period in which ethnic humor on stage was most manifest. These decades were also years in which American humor changes significantly, moving...
Humorous Contemporary Jewish-American Authors: An Overview of the Criticism
It is necessary for me to start with a disclaimer. This essay is meant only to suggest some of the things that have already been done with humor in contemporary Jewish-American literature and perhaps to suggest possible new areas of research. In no...
Laughter and Identity in Ishmael Reed's 'Mumbo Jumbo.'(Ethnic Humor)
Fortunately Tutankhamen came to power and the people were allowed to do their stuff, working out this way on the wall in the hall every which-a-way. Maybe the truest thing to be said about racism is that it represents a profound failure of the imagination....
Laughter of the Samurai: Humor in the Autobiography of Etsu Sugimoto
Etsu Sugimoto's autobiography, A Daughter of the Samurai, was published in 1925, and critics since have sometimes dismissed it as the work of a conciliatory Asian American writer intent on furthering relations between Japan and the United States by...
Monkey Kings and Mojo: Postmodern Ethnic Humor in Kingston, Reed, and Vizenor
The postmodern would be that which in the modern invokes the unpresentable in presentation itself, that which refuses the consolation of correct forms, refuses the consensus of taste permitting a common experience of nostalgia for the impossible,...
Only When I Laugh: Textual Dynamics of Ethnic Humor
I must confess: I have been doing something one is not supposed to do in polite circles -- I have been trading ethnic jokes. Not nasty, mean-spirited attacks, I hasten to add, but ethnic jokes nonetheless, jokes dependent to some extent on assumptions...
The Double, Comic Irony, and Postmodernism in Philip Roth's 'Operation Shylock.'(Ethnic Humor)
Critics have praised Philip Roth as one of the major Jewish American novelists, together with Bernard Malamud and Saul Bellow. Reviewers often compare Roth's style to that of a stand-up comic. His career has been summarized as starting in 1959 as...
Using the Immigrant's Voice: Humor and Pathos in Nineteenth Century "Dutch" Dialect Texts
The nineteenth century, and particularly its second half, was a period in American literature in which enormous interest in linguistic variation was displayed. Writers experimented with language and used just about every form of expression that fell...