You Must Be Having a Laugh? Humour to Transgress.


  • Sunny Dhillon Bishop Grosseteste University


This article argues for the encouragement of incongruous humour in Education Studies (within higher education) learning environments. Examining three competing paradigms of humour, and reworking practices from second language learning, it is argued that incongruous humour may facilitate critical interrogation of concepts, policies and practices often taken as supposedly necessary, rather than necessarily contingent. Following the precepts of immanent critique, taken from the Frankfurt School of critical theory, merged with Nietzsche’s advocacy of child-like play, it is argued that incongruous humour may transgress norms in generative, as opposed to compensatory, manner. Eschewing an attempt to create a toolbox of humorous techniques to employ in the Education Studies learning environment, this article presents a philosophical enquiry into the transgressive and critical role of incongruous humour amidst the contemporary neoliberal university apparatus.