Anca Parvulescu

Anca Parvulescu, professor of English with a joint appointment with the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities (IPH), used Hermann Hesse’s novel, Der Steppenwolf, as well as a contemporary video installation, to consider the role of laughter in modernity. In her talk, she raised the question of whether Hesse’s faith in the promise of laughter is a relic of the past or whether it is still available to us as a potential resource.

Her talk, which took place on October 21, is the final of three lectures that comprise this year’s Humanities Lecture Series: Questioning Comedy: Politics, Theater, Laughter. The series opens on October 7 with Timothy Moore discussing “The Paradox of Politics in Ancient Comedy,” and on October 14, Joseph Loewenstein will cover “Shakespeare’s Dream of Politics.” All three programs were held at noon in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge. To find out more about the series, visit at The Interdisciplinary Project for the Humanities.

Read a review of Parvulescu’s book, Laughter: Notes on a Passion.