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This issue of postmedieval explores the role of laughter and humor in medievalism. The medieval period has long provided a fund of images and ideas that have been vital to defining ‘the modern.’ From the earliest parodies of medieval chivalry, through to the scatological humor of contemporary internet medievalism, it is clear that as long as there has been medievalism, people have indulged in medievalist laughter. Comic engagement with the Middle Ages has had a vital role in the postmedieval imaginary, and thus warrants serious attention, but to date it has not received sustained analysis. The work that has appeared on comic medievalist texts has not yet led to the development of a critical language to understand the ‘affective-historical’ responses these texts generate. The essays in this issue take steps toward the development of that language.