URI Honors Colloquium

Sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Honors Program

Fall 2015 Honors Colloquium

Tuesday Evenings, 7:00 p.m.
September 22 – December 8, 2015
Edwards Auditorium, URI Kingston Campus

Humor is ever present in our daily lives. We are entertained, charmed, shocked, and sometimes offended by it.
The 2015 Honors Colloquium will take you on a journey, examining topics such as humor in medicine, humor and identity, and humor in the law. Humor has broad relevance and this series will raise as many questions as it answers about the power of humor in our lives.
Please join us for this learning experience that promises to be both funny and poignant.

Join us! The public is invited to attend this series of free events in person or online.

Full Schedule of Events

September 22

Patch Adams

Humor in Medicine

Pediatrician, clown and activist, Dr. Adams is the co-founder of the Gesundheit Institute for Holistic Medicine. He uses humor to promote health and wellness in his medical practice and in his roles as patient advocate and speaker. Dr. Adams has won numerous awards for his work and was portrayed in the Hollywood Blockbuster Patch Adams.


September 29

Robert Mankoff

Humor and Cartooning

Cartoon editor for The New Yorker and author of numerous books on humor and cartooning, including How About Never—Is Never Good for You?, Mankoff is a sought-after lecturer and delivered a popular TED talk about the appreciation of humor.



October 6

Teja Arboleda

Humor and Diversity

President and creative director of Entertaining Diversity, Inc., Arboleda is an Emmy award-winning assistant director/editor and winner of two Telly Awards. He is the author of In the Shadow of Race: Growing Up as a Multiethnic, Multicultural, and “multiracial” American and has extensive experience as a performer, writer, editor and producer—teaching about race, cultural diversity and the impact of humor.


October 13

John Fugelsang

Humor in Politics

TV and radio host, actor, and comedian, Fugelsang has appeared on TV, in CSI and Providence, and in major motion pictures, including Coyote Ugly. He is the host of the politically-focused comedic show Tell Me Everything on Sirius Radio.



October 27

Sophie Scott

Science of Laughter

Professor and neuroscientist at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College, London, Scott’s research focuses on the neurobiology of speech perception. Her love of and interest in stand-up comedy bridges the gap between neuroscience and the study of laughter. Her TED talk “Why We Laugh” has earned international acclaim.


November 3

Laura E. Little

Humor and the Law

The Charles Klein Professor of Law and Government and senior advisor to the dean of the law school at Temple University, Professor Little specializes in conflicts of laws, constitutional law, and humor and the law. She has presented internationally and authored several manuscripts on humor and the law, including “Just a Joke: Defamatory Humor and Incongruity’s Promise.”



November 17

R. Bruce Baum

Humor and Disability

A beloved professor of education and 2007 recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at Buffalo State College, Baum is also the creative director of Humor Creativity, a group that uses humor, magic and creativity to promote professional and personal growth. Baum has authored several books, including How to Motivate Audiences: 121 Energizers, Ice Breakers and more.


December 1

Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Women’s Studies Lecture

Liza Donnelly

Humor and Gender

Liza Donnelly is a writer and cartoonist currently working with The New Yorker and Forbes.com. Her area of expertise is the use of humor and cartoons to promote gender equality and world peace. She is a cultural envoy for the U.S. State Department.



December 8

Marc Abrahams

Humor in Science

Author, editor and co-founder of the Annals of Improbable Research, Abrahams is also MC for the Ig® Nobel Prize, an award for science that “makes you laugh, then think,” currently in its 25th award year. He is the author of many books, including This is Improbable Too and is a columnist for The Guardian. He speaks about the sometimes-humorous side to serious scientific inquiry.


Additional Events

October 6

You’ve Crossed the Line

Performance following Honors Colloquium lecture. 8:30 p.m. Edwards Auditorium.

October 15–18 and 22–25

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), by Sarah Ruhl

Presented by the URI Department of Theatre
Directed by Bryna Wortman
Fine Arts Center

October 18

Panel discussion following the matinee performance of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)
Fine Arts Center

November 7

URI Family Weekend

A Very Stupid Conversation, performance by Steve Martin and Martin Shortsm_ms
8 p.m
The Ryan Center
Information at theryancenter.com or call 855.387.4849.





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