Humour in the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Although we might not think of biblical and Mesopotamian writers as humorous, there are some indications that certain texts were intentionally funny. What role did humour play in Near Eastern literature and cultures? What was the relationship between humour and politics, identity formation, and/or self-deprecation? Given that humour is culturally and temporally bound, how can we identify glimpses of it when we are so far removed from the ancients? In addition to using methodologies familiar to the field, this course will also investigate biblical and Near Eastern texts through the lens of humour theory and comedy theory.