in Space, Time, and the Imagination



Comedy in Space, Time, and the Imagination

About the Author

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About the Author

Paul H. Grawe

Paul's interest in theater began at Carleton College and reached out into comedy at Northwestern University, where he earned his MA (1966) and PhD (1971) in English. His dissertation, Sombre Comedy, Comedy in a New Mood, puts forth a definition of comedy that covers the range of Greek New Comedy to present light as well as dark comedy. In 1983 in Comedy in Space, Time, and the Imagination (Nelson-Hall) he further developed the definition of comedy into Comedy Theoretical, Comedy Lucrative, Comedy Popular, Comedy Sombre, and Comedy in Ultimate Realty. In 2008 he jointly authored, with Robin Jaeckle Grawe, Comedic Tenor, Comic Vehicle: Humor in American Film Comedy, which adds to his previously articulated concept of comedy a humor-of-the-mind analysis which discerns various "humor textures" created  by the dominant forms of humor within a work.


As professor of English at Winona State University, he has taught Shakespeare's comedies, American film comedy, a television comedy course, a Jane Austen seminar, and the like.


Since joining the International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS) in 1990, Paul has expanded his interest in comedy to include humor, bringing quantitative humor preference analysis to the study of literary criticism.  He has designed numerous test instruments and has authored over 25 academic articles and conference presentations on humor. He is content editor of the Humor Quotient Newsletter.


Paul can be contacted at