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October 2002

Release Date: October 14, 2002

Annual ASU Symposium to Explore Humor and American Values

Even though the times are not always funny, the American public generally finds something to laugh about.

That quality of the American spirit will be examined when Angelo State University's Symposium on American Values looks at "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Laughter: Humor and American Values" Monday through Tuesday, Oct. 21-22, on the ASU campus.

Dr. Lawrence E. Mintz, a founding member of the International Society for Humor Studies and editor of a forthcoming anthology of American literary humor, and Dr. Regina Barreca, a scholar, humorist and author of the best-selling "They Used to Call Me Snow White, But I Drifted," are the featured speakers.

Barreca will deliver the opening address on "Who's Laughing Now? The Importance of Humor in the 21st Century" at 1:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21. Her talk will examine the need for laughter in our lives. Mintz will speak at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, on "Humor and the Mediation of American Identity." His address will place American humor in a historical context and show how humor helps us even today come to grips with contemporary social issues. Both presentations will be in the C.J. "Red" Davidson Conference Center of ASU's Houston Harte University Center. The talks are open free to the public.

Mintz, a professor at the University of Maryland where he teaches popular culture and American studies, is the former editor of Humor: International Journal of Humor Research. His books include Humor in America: A Research Guide to Genres and Topics. Barreca, a professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut, has written or edited six books on humor and has appeared as a media expert on 20/20, 48 Hours, The Today Show and Oprah.

The purpose of the University Symposium on American Values is to enrich the academic environment at Angelo State University by bringing outstanding scholars to the campus for a program of lectures and discussions to benefit students and to provide intellectual opportunities for the community.

Since 1984, the Angelo State University Symposium on American Values has brought more than 50 nationally prominent scholars, academicians and policymakers to campus to discuss a wide range of themes.

For additional information on the symposium, please contact organizing committee chair Chris Ellery at 942-2273, ext. 228.