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What's So Funny? An Inquiry into the Nature and Function of Humor

Professor: M. Phillips-Anderson

Term: Fall

Year: 2011

Course Code: FY-101-CO03

E.B. White said "Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind." We will attempt to prove Mr. White incorrect. Humor may be the most human of activities, yet it is scarcely understood. This First Year Seminar will be a humanistic inquiry into the nature and functions of humor and laughter. We will explore philosophical, communicative, physiological, and cultural perspectives on humor and laughter. We will discuss issues related to the transition between high school and college and, with any luck, find some laughter in the process.