History student Shalon van Tine explores the philosophy of humor with Warren Zevon

Graduate student Shalon van Tine, a PhD in History Candidates studying cultural and intellectual history have authored the following chapters in the following books Warren Zevon and Philosophyedited by John McKinnon.

“Warren Zevon is an interesting figure in music history. Most people remember his rather corny song ‘The Werewolf of London,’ which is trotted every Halloween. He radioed rapes, murders, drugging, suicides,” Van Tyne said.

It was his dark sense of humor that made Zevon stand out among other famous singer-songwriters of the time and caught the attention of Van Tyne. Jackson Browne, with whom he had many early collaborations, viewed Zevon’s style as “song noir”.

Van Tyne’s chapter “Red Nose and Squirting Rose” derives from Zevon’s song and uses Zevon’s life and music to explore his philosophy of humor.

“I discuss the history of different philosophical approaches to understanding comedy, from Plato to Freud. But I also incorporate history because what I find interesting depends on contemporary values.” said Van Tyne.

“Zivon’s macabre sense of humor fits nicely into the larger environment of the 1970s, a rather dark period in history when Americans experienced a complication of political and economic problems. not only presents a philosophical debate about humor, but also embodies the mood of 1970s America,” she said.

Van Tyne’s dual interest in the humanities began when he majored in philosophy as an undergraduate, then earned a master’s degree in humanities and then a master’s degree in world history.

“I have always been interested in the way ideas shape our lives. In addition, I taught philosophical courses such as logic and ethics, where students were able to draw abstract philosophical concepts from history. I’ve found it better understood with concrete examples, which come from pop culture,” she said.

“I have long been a fan of Carus Books’ Popular Culture and Philosophy series. We strive to make our work accessible to the general public,” she added.

Cultural History of Generation X

Van Tyne organizes her interests by studying Gen X cultural history with an advisor at Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences, where many faculty members specialize in contemporary history. Kevin Mattson.

“Generation X is sort of the forgotten meson, sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials, who get a lot of attention from academics and the media. But Generation X is often overlooked. , which looks at political, social and cultural factors, understands the economic phenomenon of the 1970s and 1990s, when Generation X matured and why this generation developed a unique sensibility. to do so,” Van Tyne said.

“One of the characteristics this generation is known for is its ironic and cynical sense of humor. I hope my thesis clears up some of the misconceptions about this generation and giving Generation X the hearing it deserves,” she said.

For more information on van Tine, please visit her website.

https://www.ohio.edu/news/2023/03/history-student-shalon-van-tine-uses-warren-zevon-explore-philosophy-humor History student Shalon van Tine explores the philosophy of humor with Warren Zevon

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