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Date: Mar 28, 2008
Hofstra Cultural Center Presents Unique Conference on Humor: From the History and Perspective of Seven Romance Languages
April 10, 11 and 12, 2008
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY ... What is the history of humor? How has it played out in different languages and cultures throughout our world, from medieval times to the present? What has the role of humor been in times of prosperity and of conflict? How have different cultures – in terms of region, culture and even gender – adapted humor to tell their story?
Hofstra University’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures is presenting a unique three-day event of performances and panel discussions analyzing the universal concept of humor. The event, to be held April 10, 11 and 12, 2008, will feature the participation of more than 90 authors, scholars, performers and historians from a number of different countries, including Australia, Belgium, the Canary Islands, Italy, Latin America, Mexico, Spain, England, France, Moldova and from all over the United States.
At Whom Are We Laughing: Humor in Romance Languages and Literatures may in fact be the first conference of its kind to have panels that address humor in as many as seven Romance languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan and Galician. Though the vast majority of panel discussions will be conducted in English, there are select sessions that will be presented in French, Italian and Spanish.
Highlights of the three days include a museum exhibition and unique performances:
April 10 at 5:15 p.m. Hofstra University Museum Exhibition Reception with Artist Wendy Csoka: Bells, Baubles and Farce, a striking collection of watercolors and paintings at the Lowenfeld Conference and Exhibition Hall, 10th floor, Axinn Library. This exhibition will be on display through April 27, and admission is free. Open to the public.
April 10 at 8 p.m.: Scenes from Don Quixote performed by the renowned Spanish Repertory Theater Company (Repertorio Español). Also this evening –
• Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author performed by Hofstra University’s Department of Music and the Department of Drama and Dance.
• Hofstra students will also perform scenes from the operas Tartuffe, Don Giovanni, Carmen and Spanish Zarzuela.
• The world premiere of an original mini-opera based on Don Quixote.
April 11 at 8:30 p.m.: Hofstra will host the Long Island Premiere of Molière Than Thou. This hilarious 90-minute, one-man show, written and performed by Timothy Mooney, exposes a gallery of peasants, noblemen, cunning servants and a cast of 17th-century thousands. Mooney, who has toured throughout the United States and Canada, has rewritten 15 of Molière’s plays in their entirety, bringing a dexterity of English speech to these works that were so dazzling in their original French. Molière Than Thou reinvigorates Renaissance theater, the court of Louis XIV, and the vision that generated some of the most beloved plays of all time.
This performance takes place on Friday, April 11, at 8:30 p.m. at Monroe Lecture Center Theater, California Avenue, South Campus. Tickets are priced separately at $16, $12 senior citizen (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra student with ID. Members of the Hofstra community receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.
Topics that will be addressed during the conference portion of At Whom Are We Laughing, include:
• Parody, Stereotype and Subversion in 19th Century French Writers
• From the Catalonian Perspective
• To Laugh or Not to Laugh: The Galician Slant
• French Humor in Pre-Modern Times
• Laughter Across Borders
• Translating Humor, Italian Style
• French Humor A La Grotesque
• 20th Century Women Writers: Parody, Irony and Darts
• Spanish Wit of the Golden Age
• Tales of the Picaro, Salty and Bittersweet
• Comedy On Stage and Small Screen: Gozzi to “Manolito Gafotas”
• Spanning Half a Millennium in the Luso-Galician Tongue
• Humor in the Romanian Vein
• Cervantes Projected
• Political Satire in Modern France
• The Strange Consortium of Laughter and Tears
• Humor Subtle and Snide: Alarcón, Clarín and the “Género Chico”
• Humorous Rhetoric in the Italian Court: Machiavelli and Castiglione
• Chivalric Heroes with Armor Undone
• About Misogyny and Medics, Way Back When
• Humor of the Canary Islands
For registration fees and additional information on At Whom Are We Laughing: Humor in Romance Languages and Literatures and the various performances and events associated with the conference, please call the Hofstra Cultural Center at (516) 463-5669 or visit www.hofstra.edu/culture.