DIS Academic Director Speaks on the Role of Humor

DIS Academic Director Speaks on the Role of Humor

DIS Academic Director, Helle Rytkønen, recently spoke at an event hosted by ‘Selskab for Ligestilling,’ in English meaning, ‘The Society for Gender Equality.’

DIS DIS Copenhagen Semester

The event, “Is Humor Just for Fun?”, held at KVINFO’s Library, the Danish Center for Gender, Equality, and Diversity, explored the topic of how humor can reflect, challenge, and shape cultural norms and values. One example looked at IKEA advertisements shown in Scandinavia while not in the U.S., based on how the respective countries depict sexuality and humor.

Helle led a discussion specifically around humor, gender, and ethnicity, where cross-cultural comparisons between the U.S. and Denmark gave further perspective. With an interactive audience, two Danish comedians included, and Helle having lived in the U.S. for 19 years, there were interesting personal experiences and backgrounds to advance the conversation as well.

In regards to ethnic minority humor, Helle argued it is not as developed in Denmark as it is in the U.S., aside from a few exceptions, “Danish comedians – even when they are extremely good at their trade from a humor technical perspective – often miss an opportunity to use a humorous discourse to address some complex issues around, for example, race.”

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