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Holy Moley: A Mole Society?

The Centre for Comedy Studies Research (CCSR) is delighted to be hosting Nikita Lobanov from the University of Bologna as a visiting PhD Student. You are warmly invited to attend a seminar to be given by Nikita Lobanov and to hear more about his research:

Holy Moley: A Mole Society?
Wednesday 21st November 2018, 3.00pm-4.00pm 
Marie Jahoda Building, Room 117, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK 

Throughout evolution and history, moles (skin blemishes) have shared the journey of humanity so much so that some would even say that they are a part of us. Moles have, in fact, been signs of God’s favour or displeasure, an indicator of our future fortune (with the discipline, Moleosophia, still practiced in Asia), a sign of moral and intellectual degeneration (Lombroso: 1927) or even a pledge of love. A clear cross-cultural divide, in which personality traits play an important role, moles emerge either as something disgusting that should be avoided or as something normal or even beautiful like Marilyn Monroe’s “pop” beauty spot. Kristeva’s ideas on the “abject” purification (1980) appear as an interesting starting point for the discussion of the cultural and personal significance of moles. Adopting Haidt’s (2012) Moral Foundations Theory and Aunger’s (2002) electro-meme concept in a hybrid approach, Nikita will first attempt to analyse the origins and cultural repercussions of “moles” in Western culture. Second, Nikita will consider the connection between moles as something that disgusts and their comic aspect – bearing in mind that from Austin Powers to Monty Python, moles are put forward as humorous stimuli. 

Chaired by Simon Weaver, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Brunel University London.
Nikita Lobanov is currently a PhD student at the Department of Interpretation and Translation of University of Bologna, Forli, with a curriculum in Inter-Cultural Studies. His PhD research is focused on the use of humorous memes by New Right movements in UK after the Brexit referendum and the relationship of these memes with hate crimes on the ground. His broader interests of research are in the wider context of humour, disgust, morality and digital tribalism.

Everyone very welcome. Look forward to seeing you there!
Please email Comedy.Studies@brunel.ac.uk to reserve your place.