Humourists all over the world are very much conscious of the subtle power of jokes and other humorous forms. They thus appropriate humour for diverse communicative, rhetorical and social functions. Interactions and other communicative exchanges, either mediated or direct, are sociocultural spaces through which individuals instantiate humorous acts for their communicative goals. Such sociocultural spaces have constraints on joking, nonetheless, humourists and interlocutors have been found to manipulate social restrictions to perform their jokes. In Nigeria, humourists as well as interlocutors have adopted the rhetorical strategies of jokes and other forms of humour for different forms of cultural engagements. Everyday citizens have found humour as means of expressing their cultural beliefs, expectations from and disappointments in the socio-political leadership of Nigeria. For instance, stand-up comedy and internet humour, both of which project the country’s comic worldview, give insights about populist’s perspective on the concept of nationhood, identity, social and political systems as well as the challenges of everyday living. Although, investigating humour is promising, there have been very few efforts in theorising the phenomenon in Nigeria. In this special issue on Nigerian humour, we aim to scientifically approach the phenomenon of jokes and other forms of humour in Nigeria so as to systematically describe it and account for its interactional, social, didactic and rhetorical functions. Contributors are invited from various disciplines and are encouraged to approach the question of humour in Nigeria from multidisciplinary theories from linguistics, literature, sociology, anthropology, folklore and other related fields. Suggested areas of interest might include, but are not limited to:

  • Jokes/humour in Nigerian languages (Nigerian Pidgin and English inclusive)
  • Joking contexts
  • Conversational joking
  • Nigerian stand-up comedy
  • Humour and/or laughter in Nollywood
  • Humour and/or laughter in print media
  • Humour in social media
  • Humour and translation
  • Humour in advertisement
  • (Un)laughter
  • Gender in humour
  • Identity in humour
  • Political humour
  • Satire and parody
  • Humour in Nigerian literature
  • Ideologies in Nigerian Humour

Prospective contributors should send a 300 word abstract by August 7, 2017 and should expect a notification of selection by August 14, 2017. Final papers, due by November 6, 2017, can be sent to