Document Type



Students come to a university for many reasons, but rarely would one say that one of those reasons is to tell (or listen to) jokes. But I think humor can be much more central to students’ educational experience than they, or we, realize. This paper explores what role humor might play in the academic identities of university students. It does not call on teachers to begin telling jokes as a way of engaging students with course material. Rather, it asks teachers to recognize how comedic activities and identities that seem to undercut traditional classroom decorum can be necessary to intellectual development.

Author Bio(s)

Eric Mason, Ph.D., assistant professor at the college, earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of South Florida in Tampa. His scholarly work focuses on how the various modalities of composition—textual, visual, aural, and digital—intersect with culture. His work has been published in journals such as Enculturation, Media Culture, and The Community Literacy Journal, as well as in books published by Ashgate and SUNY Press.