Otto Santa Ana to Lead Colloquium on Laughter and Humor

Blessed is the Gift of Laughter by Hazel Bowman

On Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) invites you to take part in “The Impact of Laughter and Humor in Our Past and Today’s Digitized World,” a Templeton Colloquium led by Dr. Otto Santa Ana, 2015-2016 Templeton Fellow at the NDIAS.

This colloquium brings together scholars from anthropology, communications, digital media, neuroscience, political science, psychiatry and psychology, religious studies, and sociology to examine the origins, development, and neurology of human laughter; explore humor and laughter as deeply human expressions of imaginative cognition; and evaluate the use of laughter and humor as social and political mechanisms.

Sessions will take place in 200 McKenna Hall and will also be simulcast live on the NDIAS website.

This colloquium is sponsored by the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, with generous funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

pdficon_smallConference Schedule

pdficon_smallConference Poster

Thursday, April 7

•9:00 am — Anthropological Perspectives on Laughter and Humor
Susan D. Blum, University of Notre Dame
Agustín Fuentes, University of Notre Dame
*Ilana Gershon, Indiana University

•11:00 am  — The Evolution and Development of Humor 
Greg Bryant, University of California, Los Angeles
Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame
*Donald L. Stelluto, University of Notre Dame

•2:30 pm — The Biology and Neurology of Laughter and Humor
Matthew M. Gervais, Rutgers University
*Lee Gettler, University of Notre Dame
Joseph O. Polimeni, University of Manitoba
Sophie Scott, University College London

Friday, April 8

•9:00 am — Creativity, Humor, and Play
D. Fox Harrell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*David Bentley Hart, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study
John Morreall, College of William and Mary

•11:00 am — Politics and Intersectionality in Laughter and Humor
Jody C. Baumgartner, East Carolina University
Raúl Pérez, University of Denver
*Donald L. Stelluto, University of Notre Dame
Simon Weaver, Brunel University London

•2:30 pm — Conclusions and Discussion of Closing Thoughts and Comments
*Brad S. Gregory, University of Notre Dame
Otto Santa Ana, University of California, Los Angeles

*Asterisks denote Session Chairs.


Originally published by Grant Osborn ’06, ’09M.F.A. at on March 23, 2016.