Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of Humor Studies

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of Humor Studies

Article excerpt

Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. Ed. by Salvatore Attardo. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2014. 2 vols. $315 (ISBN 978-1-4129-9909-0).

Search online for information about any sitcom and you are likely to find a fan-authored site that provides minute details about every character and episode. Yet such web sources seldom offer intellectual linkages from popular shows like The Office to an identification of the first "mockumentary" (This is Spinal Tap) to an academic explanation that this particular genre involves "the appropriation of codes and conventions from the full continuum of nonfiction and fact-fiction forms" (515). Sage's Encyclopedia of Humor Studies does precisely this, and thus is an invaluable aid to students exploring this highly fascinating discipline.

Humor studies is an interdisciplinary and international field. Fortunately, the encyclopedia's contents reflect this diversity The editor, Salvatore Attardo, is the author of Linguistic Theories of Humor (de Gruyter, 1994), Humorous Texts: A Semantic and Pragmatic Analysis (de Gruyter, 2001), and many other highly-cited publications in the fields of humor and linguistics. From 2001 to 2011, he was also the editor of HUMOR, the official journal of the International Society for Humor Studies. For compiling his encyclopedia, Attardo recruited a board drawn from most of the related fields, including communication (Owen Hanley Lynch), cross-cultural studies (Jessica Milner Davis), folklore (Moira Marsh), linguistics (Victor Raskin), media studies (Sharon Lockyer), religious studies (John Morreall), and social psychology (Thomas E. …

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