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International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

4 Issues per year

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Volume 26, Issue 2


Unveiling the humor mind of the “starving Armenians”: Literary and internet humor

Shahe S. Kazarian
Published Online: 2013-05-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2013-0021


The international fame of the “starving Armenians” has overshadowed this biblical nation's ardent love for humor and wit. The geography and distinctive language of the Armenians have also veiled the Armenian humor mind from international humor scholarship. In the present article, contemporary Armenian humor forms and expressions of Armenian humor in literary work (fable, satire and dark humor) and the internet are described. This illustration of Armenian humor forms and means of communication is informed by contemporary Western humor theory and research. The analysis of Armenian humor dispels the stereotype of the Armenian as poor and starving and reveals a rich culture full of varied forms of humor from ancient times to the internet age. A contemporary Armenian humor mind that is open to humor appreciation and expression is reflected in the designation and veneration of Gümri as the humor capital of Armenians, and the recognition of April 1 as a national day of humor and wit.

Keywords: “Starving Armenian” stereotype; Armenian humor; Armenian wit; Armenian literary humor; Armenian internet humor

About the article

Shahe S. Kazarian

Shahe S. Kazarian is a professor and former Chair of the Department of Psychology at the American University of Beirut. He is co-author of ten books, a volume of poetry, and close to 80 book chapters and peer reviewed articles. The main focus of his current research is on positive psychology generally and humor in the Lebanese and Armenian contexts particularly.

American University of Beirut

Published Online: 2013-05-10

Published in Print: 2013-05-20

Citation Information: Humor, Volume 26, Issue 2, Pages 371–384, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2013-0021.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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