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Gender and Humor 
Mario Huber 

Gender and Humor. Two very hot potatoes.

In theory, a connecting moment can quickly be identified between gender and humor. On the one hand, both questions about social gender and reactions to comedy are connected in many ways to social norms, institutions, and symbols. On the other hand, in both fields, in addition to describing and criticizing structures of power and domination, there is room for observing individual forms and a broad spectrum of lifeworlds becomes visible.

This sounds good in theory, and offers great conditions for interesting works and perspectives. However, when considering gender and humor together, people often still think in a very conservative (and thus binary) way. In cabaret and comedy, for example, it is still often claimed: Men are like this – and women like that.” In the end, we’re supposed to laugh at the woman rather than the man. But we also encounter these simple explanations of the world outside of artistic stage works. In everyday communication, for example, the majority of jokes are still made at women’s expense. Men seem to have greater freedom in acting out their humor, whereas less subjectivity is provided for women. Little to no thought is given to everyone outside of this. Somewhere between the exciting possibilities and the often lived reality something is jinxed.

Gender and Humor – a complicated field of stereotypes, clichés and exaggerations that we will try to master. A lecture based on the title of the exhibition, with some exclamation marks, but most of all many many question marks.


Participating artists

Mario Huber

author and literary scholar

studied German studies and Philosophy in Graz, 2014 – 2022 staff member at the Austrian Cabaret Archive, 2018 – 2023 staff member at the Center for Cultural Studies at the University of Graz, since 2019 lecturer at the Institute of German Studies at the University of Graz, since fall 2023 staff member at the Archive of Contemporaries at the University of Krems, publications on Austrian cabaret, law and literature, memory cultures, and dialect literature

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