One of my scholarly interests is flatulence. That’s right, farts. Well, to be precise, not farts simpliciter so much as the humor associated with passing gas. My latest piece pertaining to the subject, entitled “From the Sumerians to Shakespeare to Twain: Why Fart Jokes Never Get Old,” was published today in The Conversation.
If you’re not familiar with The Conversation, it is a really cool web magazine, essentially the same format as a traditional news magazine (with news reports, commentaries, arts & culture pieces, etc.). However, all of the content is written by scholars with expertise in the areas they write about, as opposed to having staff journalists with no expertise on a given topic attempting to summarize information they gather from scholars and other experts. The Conversation has a very rigorous editorial process, too, which is refreshing.
The editors at The Conversation asked me to write this piece after seeing an article of mine in the journal Think, entitled “Why Flatulence is Funny.” In this article I explore in depth the question that I briefly address toward the end of my Conversation article, namely why it is that farts are funny.
Also, you’ll be interested to know that my precious status as an international authority on the topic was secured with this report last year in the Helsingin Sanomat, which is the largest newspaper in Helsinki, Finland. (You’ll want to read this one very carefully.)
So if you ever hear anyone call me a crap scholar, please correct them. I’m actually a fart scholar. There’s a substantive difference . . . so to speak.