Laughing at Imperialism: Ridicule and Satire as Anticolonial Strategies, 1880-1970


ACLS Fellowship Program




Focusing on the British, French and German colonial empires between 1880 and 1970, this book project demonstrates the power of laughter, ridicule, and satire in challenging modern imperialism. The project analyzes the use of humor by prominent anticolonial leaders such as Frantz Fanon, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and Ho Chi Minh, as well as by grassroots members of anticolonial movements in Africa, Asia, and the European metropoles. It argues that anticolonial laughter was of great importance in resisting imperialism, both in day-to-day interactions between colonizers and colonized, and among activists working towards the process of global decolonization after World War II.