, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 373–385 | Cite as

Achmed the dead terrorist and humor in popular geopolitics

  • Darren PurcellEmail author
  • Melissa Scott Brown
  • Mahmut Gokmen


The critical geopolitics literature has engaged popular culture and media in many forms, usually focused on mass media or elite-produced niche media. The issue of humor as a form of popular culture with geopolitical content has been explored only recently by geographers. This paper utilizes disposition theory, with its emphasis on social context, to link humor and geopolitical analyses of humor. The analysis of two Jeff Dunham comedy skits centering on the character Achmed the Dead Terrorist demonstrates the utility of disposition theory as a construct to situate humor in the context of its original production and as a fluid, global phenomenon that is shared through various social networks via the Internet.


Critical geopolitics Disposition theory Humor Popular culture Popular geopolitics 


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Internet Sources

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darren Purcell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Melissa Scott Brown
    • 1
  • Mahmut Gokmen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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