Monday, October 10, 2016

Spotlight on “Laughing Matters: Conversations on Humor” (Hyperbole Books, an imprint of SDSU Press)

By Frederick Luis Aldama and Ilan Stavans
Published by Hyperbole Books, an imprint of SDSU Press
Series: Chatting Professors / Catedráticos Charlando
Paperback, 126 pages
ISBN-10: 1938537971
ISBN-13: 978-1938537974

From the Publishers: Do you dig humor, comedy, critical theory, literary criticism, philosophy, television, and mass media studies all wrapped up together? Then LAUGHING MATTERS by Latino scholar/writers/artists ILAN STAVANS and FREDERICK ALDAMA is the book for you. Hyperbole Books first volume in the “Chatting Professors/ Catedráticos Charlando” mini-series, LAUGHING MATTERS finds two comedic scholars talking seriously about the ludicrous. Or are they speaking ludicrously about the serious? And does it matter which is which?

Praise: “Two academics go into a bar. . . and create one of the most compelling works on laughter since Bergson. In this kinetic tête-à-tête, Aldama and Stavans’ conversation weaves effortlessly from the great thinkers on laughter to today’s neurobiological insights to offer witty, wide-ranging, and incisive insights into our planet’s great creations.”

–Peter McGraw, director of The Humor Research Lab (HuRL)

“Our authors scour the world of humor from stand-up Jewish comedians to classic writers such as Cervantes and Rabelais to those, like Freud and Bergson, who have sought to account for why we laugh. The conversational format of this book allows its authors a freedom to range that would be impossible in a more conventional mode of discourse.”

–Herbert Lindenberger, Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities Emeritus, Stanford University

“A delightful and intellectually engaging conversation, Laughing Matters explores the nature of laughter and humor, questioning and expounding on Western European and Latin American literary works that build humor into their pages. In a decidedly erudite manner they take us on a journey through philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Bergson as well as literary geniuses such as Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Borges.”

–María Herrera-Sobek, Professor of Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

About the Authors:

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the author of many books, including Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, and A Most Imperfect Union. He is also general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.

Frederick Luis Aldama is Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University, United States, where he teaches Latino/a and Latin American post-colonial literature, film, and comics, as well as narrative theory and cognitive science approaches to culture generally. Aldama has published many books including Graphic Borders: Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future, and Latino/a Literature in the Classroom: 21st Century Approaches to Teaching.

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