Alumni College Fellows
Julie Willett & Randy McBee
"Nothing to Laugh At: The Vietnam War and the Comic Stage."
When it comes to war, historians have generally ignored the powerful role of comedy and the Vietnam era is no exception. Most visibly, left-wing ridicule was at the forefront of some of the most iconic movements that stood in opposition to America's involvement in Southeast Asia, but pro-war forces also relied on mockery to rally support. Perhaps most surprising of all, is how humor found its way into the lives of soldiers. Our research uncovers a hidden history of humor and how it altered perceptions of the war at home and abroad.