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Common Reading Lecture Asks, 'What's So Funny?'

Published on August 25, 2014

Author and humor expert John MorreallWhat’s So Funny? Susquehanna University has invited author and humor expert John Morreall to campus to explain. Morreall will present Susquehanna University’s 2014 Common Reading Lecture, titled What’s So Funny? The Nature and Value of Humor, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4 in Weber Chapel Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

In keeping with this year’s university theme, “Humor,” Morreall will address the traditional prejudices against humor in Western culture, and the recent interest in humor in academe, medicine and business.

Morreall, a professor and chair of the religious studies department at the College of William and Mary and author of HumorWorks, will also visit three classes on Susquehanna’s campus to meet with students Friday to discuss humor and its medical, psychological and social benefits.

Common Reading Program

The Common Reading Program at Susquehanna works in conjunction with the university’s yearlong theme, which presents opportunities for the campus to develop a community-wide dialogue around a central idea or question. Establishing an annual common reading is an effort to create a shared intellectual point of engagement for first-year students who are asked to read a common text that is explored in a variety of ways during their first semester on campus. The goal is to introduce new students to life in a community of learners where all engage in discussion and reflection on texts and ideas.

One of the entries in this year’s common reading text is an essay titled “Humor in the Holocaust,” which Morreall presented at the 1997 Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust.

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