“Digressions: A cross-disciplinary study of the indirectness of the human imagination” is an AUFF NOVA research project funded by Aarhus Research Fund.
The project explores the indirect and nonlinear modalities of social life. Through five different sub-prjects, we wish to test two key hypotheses:
- Social life involves ways of being and acting that are indirect and non-linear; life proceeds not along straight lines but by virtue of diversions; events occur by causal routes that are more tangential than direct.
- It is through such diversions, indirectness and tangents, nevertheless, that social life maintains the appearance of being a linear phenomenon so that B appears to be following A ‘logically’
I am responsible for the administration of the project, for conducting one subproject and for the theoretical integration of its findings.
My subproject is entitled "Comic at the Core: Exploring the Ludic Digressions of Stand-up Comedy". It is an ethnographic study of digression as playfulness among stand-up comedians in New York, USA; in particular, it focuses on stand-up comedians’ timing and ability to move from subject to subject while making seemingly unrelated topics appear connected. Based on participant observation, interviews and visual and textual analyses, the project contributes insights into the ludic and temporal qualities of digression.
Learn more about the project here.