SASL Newsletter - Summer 2018 Issue Issue 10 - Summer 2018 - Page 2

SASL Executive Board 2015 – 2018 President Samuel J. Supalla University of Arizona Vice President Deirdre Schlehofer Rochester Institute of Technology Recording Secretary / Newsletter Editor Andrew P. J. Byrne Framingham State University Treasurer Harvey Nathanson Austin Community College SASL Journal Editor-in-Chief Jody H. Cripps Towson University Members-at-Large Russell Rosen CUNY – Staten Island By Andrew P. J. Byrne The Joke is on Me: Self-Defeating Humor of Folklore Did you know that there are four main styles of humor? They are affiliative, self-enhancing, aggressive, and self- defeating (Barnes, 2012; Ford, Lappi, & Holden, 2016). American Sign Language (ASL) literature has over 70 humorous works. Searching through the database of ASL folklore, I have identified four works of self-defeating humor, two of which have multiple versions. These works are Don’t Sign with Your Hands Full and Please But. In this editorial, I will focus on the features of self-defeating humor and these two works, as exemplars of this type of humor. Also known as self-disparaging, self-denigrating, self- mockery, self-directed joking, or self-deprecating (Dynel, 2009), self-defeating humor is defined as: the act of disparaging oneself. [It] involves offering salient or criticized aspects of oneself as the target of a joke. These salient aspects could involve topics that are specific to the individual (e.g., physical appearance, intelligence, etc.) or to a group to which the individual belongs. (Ellithorpe, Esralew, & Holbert, 2014, p. 403) Located in a videotape entitled American Sign Language: Tales from the Green Books by Charlotte Baker- Shenk and Dennis Cokely (1980, 1981, 2007), Martina (MJ) Bienvenu’s work, Don’t Sign with Your Hands Full may be the earliest published recording of folklore in ASL (1980). There are seven other videotaped versions, which are as follows: Gabriel Arellano Georgetown University King Kong: Stephen Ryan (1991) (Produced by the Department of Sign Communication, Gallaudet University) Ron Fenicle Montgomery College Deaf Giant: Fabiano De Rose (2003) (Produced by For ACCESS: The Education Station) King Kong: Trix Bruce (2006) King Kong: Peter Cook (2007, 2012) (Continue on the next page) The Power of ASL 2 Summer 2018 – Issue 10