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Professor Michael Phillips-Anderson headshot in front of the Great Hall

Prof. Phillips-Anderson Publishes Chapter in “Political Humor Worldwide”

Michael Phillips-Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, recently published the chapter, “Founding Contradictions, Contemporary Expressions: Political Humor in American Culture,” in Political Humor Worldwide, part of The Language of Politics Book Series (Springer, 2024).

The chapter “examines the interplay between humor and culture in a time of political polarization and division in the United States,” exploring how humor is derived from the incongruity between the stated ideals of the country’s founding and the lived reality of its people. Phillips-Anderson demonstrates this phenomenon through examples such as the exaggerated look at local government in the fictionalized politics of “Parks and Recreation,” as well as the rhetorical humor wielded by politicians, particularly Donald Trump.

In this chapter, Phillips-Anderson also examines “cancel culture” and demonstrates how American comedy wrestles with free speech and accountability.