ONLINE: E.B. White: “Comedy can be dissected like a frog, but they both die in the process.” Great writer, but he’s wrong. This multimedia course dares to analyze an art form that seems to resist it. Using copious clips from movies and TV, the course showcases comedy’s unique insights into the human condition. In a lecture-style format, we’ll examine comedy’s history, from Ancient Greece to this morning; the changing role of women in comedy; how philosophers such as Kant, Hobbes and Freud viewed humor; how satire challenges society’s taboos and censorship (some mature content); the unlikely convergences between comedy and science (how the brain fathoms the funny, starring dopamine and pattern disruption), and comedy and religion (does humanity's search for meaning parallel comedy’s search for a punchline?); and the silent comic Buster Keaton's astonishing stunts, technical mastery and acting, which used a minimum of expression to communicate a multitude of emotions. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 200.