Rhetoric Humor & The Public Sphere by Benacka Elizabeth
The Rhetorical Function of Humor in the Public Sphere: From Socrates to Stephen Colbert investigates classical and contemporary understandings of satire parody and irony and how these genres function within a deliberative democracy. Elizabeth Benacka examines the rhetorical history theorization and practice of humor from ancient Greece and Rome to the contemporary United States. In particular this book focuses on the contemporary work of Stephen Colbert and his parody of a conservative media pundit analyzing how his humor took place in front of an uninitiated audience and ridiculed a variety of problems and controversies threatening American democracy. Ultimately Benacka emphasizes the importance of humor as a source of information in contemporary society as well as a discourse capable of calling forth a group of engaged citizens.