In Humor and Rumor in the Post-Soviet Authoritarian State, Anastasiya Astapova explores the ever-present use of political jokes and humor in contemporary Belarus to inform the broader fields of humor studies and folklore of jokes under authoritarian regimes. Drawing from 7 years of fieldwork in the country, Anastasiya Astapova covers a myriad of subjects on humor and the vernacular, from surveillance rumors to the adaptation of jokes among authoritarian regimes, to jokes about Belarus’ own Potemkin villages. All the while, she bridges concepts, such as genres of humor and hidden transcripts, clearly and concisely with dozens of examples of jokes and narratives that make the book approachable to newcomers of humor studies. Although her research was conducted before the 2020 protests in Belarus, Astapova nonetheless provides a timely insight into everyday life of those under the Alexander Lukashenko regime and the joke culture that well preceded the protests.

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