Published: Oct. 26, 2016

Professor Kira Hall (CU-Boulder Linguistics), Professor Donna M. Goldstein (CU-Boulder Anthropology), and Matthew Bruce Ingram (Ph.D. student, UT-Austin) recently published an article titled “The Hands of Donald Trump: Entertainment, gesture, spectacle,” in the October issue of HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory. Their findings were also highlighted in Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine 

This detailed study attributes the success of Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 Republican primary to its value as comedic entertainment, as seen in the way Trump uses gesture to critique the political system and caricature his opponents. Indeed, in the Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine article, Professor Goldstein states that “...his use of a kind of ‘standup’ comedy format suspends (his audiences) from the usual stiff, staid political oratory." Professor Hall adds that “the density of his use of comedic entertainment is unprecedented in politics”. 

Professor Hall was also interviewed on Colorado Matters (CPR/NPR) on Friday, November 18th. Listen to the interview here:

To read the original article by Hall, Goldstein & Ingram, please visit: