Skip to main content

About Dr. Jonna C Mackin

Freud's definition of comedy as a tri-partite transaction is key to my analysis of literary humor. My PHD dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, entitled "Subject to Laughter," examined the relationship between comedy, identity and ethnicity in modern American novels. I contend that comedy is essential to the meaning of many novels, not only those which profess to be "comic novels." For example, I consider comedy in Toni Morrison's *Sula*, which is often taken as a tragedy. My book on the topic, now called "Subject to Laughter: Comedy, Identity and Desire in Modern American Novels" builds upon that project, expanding it to answer how comedy's inherent "truthiness" brings us to beyond postmodernism or to reconstruction after deconstruction.
I teach American literature and identity studies and expository writing at Dartmouth College.

My earlier interest was in American Modernism, and I published an article on T.S.Eliot and Music Hall in the book the book *T.S. Eliot's Orchestra; Critical Essays on Poetry and Music* edited by John Xiros Cooper.


Present Faculty Member, Dartmouth College