Congratulations to researcher John Magnus Ragnhildson Dahl on his doctoral thesis “Voices on the Border : Comedy and Immigration in the Scandinavian Public Spheres”!
In the dissertation “Voices on the Border” Dahl explores how humor and comedy related to immigration has influenced the broader public debate about the subject in Scandinavia.
By researching key events in Scandinavian immigration comedy – satire that makes fun of xenophobia, the first stand-up comedians from ethnic minorities, controversies related to humor and racism and the flourishing of humor shows made for and by ethnic minorities – this dissertation aims to show how humor has drawn and shown borders in the public sphere, relating to the immigration debate.
Excerpt from abstract:
The aim of this dissertation is to advance the understanding of the relationship between comedy and politics, as well as the relationship between the cultural and the political parts of the public sphere. Its main research question is How can TV comedy thematising immigration contribute to public opinion formation on immigration in the larger public sphere? This is investigated through a text-focused, case based historical study of comedy shows, actors and events in the three Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The concept immigration comedy is used to refer to the special kind of comedy in question, in order to refer not only to ethnic humour, but also to satire about immigration policy or xenophobia. Two of the case sets in the dissertation focus on comedy shows, while the two other case sets focus on comedy reception in the mass media.
John Magnus Dahl is now researcher and lecturer at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen.