Date of Award

5-3-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Calvin Thomas

Second Advisor

Mark Noble

Third Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Abstract

This thesis labors to unpack Georges Bataille’s enigmatic statement, “to laugh is to think”, treating this “impossible thought” as a paradigmatic expression of Bataille’s self-characterized “philosophy of laughter.” Overall, this thesis interrogates Bataille’s “philosophy of laughter” as an attempt to stimulate an “awakening” of consciousness to the dissolution of consciousness. En route, this thesis argues that such an “awakening” evokes a privileged expression of the movement of “communication” around which Bataille’s theoretical writing is structured, positing the “philosophy of laughter” as an effort to solder the movement of “communication” through the domain of epistemology itself.

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