Deflating the Dictators–cfp

Special Issue of “Humanities” Journal: “Deflating the Dictators: Satire, Humor, and Twenty-First-Century Tyranny”

The journal Humanities seeks to publish international analyses of current efforts by satirists and humorists to call attention to the injustice and abuse inflicted by autocrats. Which satirists are engaging in a national or international struggle for justice against repressive leadership and with what means? How are satire and the related mode of humor currently functioning, despite censorship, in oppressive regimes? How do current satirical or humorous texts depicting oppression incorporate facts and artefacts that generate countercultural memories and thereby fill gaps in other historical or mass media narratives?

A few examples of such artworks include Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (2006); United States of Banana by Giannina Braschi (2011); the Masasit Mati acting group’s finger-puppet show series “Top Goon: Diaries of a Little Dictator” (2011-2012), created to deflate Syrian president Bashar al-Assad; and Trevor Stankiewicz’s mixed genre satirical play The Darfur Compromised (2015). As Martha C. Nussbaum writes, “the ability to imagine vividly, and then to assess judicially, another person’s pain, to participate in it and then to ask about its significance, is a powerful way of learning what the human facts are and of acquiring a motivation to alter them” (Poetic Justice 91). This issue of Humanities delves into the political outcries and aesthetic innovations of satirical and humorous responses to twenty-first-century oppressive regimes.

Please send essays to Jill Twark, East Carolina University, by October 30, 2019. URL:

Contact Info:
Dr. Jill Twark
Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Mailstop 556
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Contact Email:

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