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LIBS 7009 - Humour Studies - Learning with and about Humour

Liberal Studies Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

Course Details

This course considers the enduring human concern of making sense of self and the world using the sense of humour. With comic material, students will explore connections between humour and problem-solving, imagination, playfulness, logic, language, and personal and inter-personal well being and will debate humour's place as a philosophy.


BCIT ENGL 1177, or 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.



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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate that comedy is the result of interpretation, influenced by the traditions, prejudices, preferences and circumstances.
  • Acknowledge that different kinds of comic structures and content appeal to different people for different reasons.
  • Understand mindfulness and practice it to an increased degree.
  • Define concepts of voice, genre and stereotype and describe their contributions to comedy.
  • Understand the power of satire as a form of social commentary and practice effective satirical writing.
  • Appreciate a variety of comedic forms including mime, stand-up, physical comedy, gags, satire, situation comedy, repartee, theatre sports.
  • Understand the elements of cartooning and apply them to interpret an event in comic form.
  • Use word games and puzzles (e.g. Spoonerisms, malapropisms, Tom Swifties, puns, eponyms, tropes) to examine the inconsistencies and rhetorical devices of the English language as a source of humor.
  • Analyze texts, video and audio material and personal experience to develop a better understanding of one's own sense of humor and an appreciation for diverse interpretations of what is deemed funny.
  • Identify the key elements of a philosophical tradition (existential, pragmatic, hermeneutic and Zen), and interpret humor from the perspective of this tradition.
  • Take a comic look at machinery and build Rube Goldberg machines from common materials. Examine the impact of the unintended consequences of machines and other technologies (e.g. the Internet).
  • Appreciate diversity, surprise, and unpredictability as fundamental aspects of human life and develop a capacity for flexibility, creativity and letting go of control.
  • Contemplate death from a comic viewpoint and consider the implications of death's inevitability for the quality of life.
  • Demonstrate risk taking, imagination and flexibility in a comic performance.
  • Consider the value of a comic perspective in dealing with life's challenges.

Effective as of Fall 2004

Related Programs

LIBS 7009 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Business

  1. Accounting
    Full-time/Part-time   Bachelor of Accounting


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