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Laughtivism: The Power of Political Satire Today

A Conversation with Srdja Popovic and Sophia McClennen

Friday, March 2, 2018, 7:30pm

Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 015)

CAHI is delighted to host a discussion with Serbian activist Srdja Popovic and acclaimed scholar Sophia McClennen on the contemporary power and functions of political satire. In a political climate in which sensitive news stories and entire media outlets are frequently denounced as “fake news,” political satire in the U.S. and around the world has been gaining prominence. Together, McClennen and Popovic will share their perspectives on the power of satire as a force for fostering critical citizenship and challenging the status quo.

Srdja Popovic is one of the founding members of the Serbian non-violent resistance movement Otpor!, which was instrumental in toppling Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, and the Centre for Applied Non-violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), an NGO in Belgrade that trains pro-democracy activists around the world, both in person and through online courses such as “Leading Nonviolent Movements for Social Progress.” Popovic is author of Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World.

Sophia McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at Penn State University, where she is also Associate Director of the School of International Affairs and founding director of the Center for Global Studies. She has written two books on satire and U.S. politics and media: Colbert’s America: Satire and Democracy and Is Satire Saving Our Nation?: Mockery and American Politics (co-authored with Remy Maisel). She has written extensively on questions of human rights and terrorism, and is co-author (with Jeffrey Di Leo, Henry Giroux, and Kenneth Saltman) of Neoliberalism, Education, Terrorism: Contemporary Dialogues, and co-editor (with Alexandra Schultheis Moore) of The Routledge Companion to Human Rights and Literature.

This event is presented by the College Arts & Humanities Institute and is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Political and Civic Engagement Program (PACE), the Media School, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Department of Political Science, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Indiana Memorial Union Board.

Special thanks to the Friends of Art Bookshop, who will be on hand to sell copies of the authors’ books at the event. Please join us for a book signing following the discussion.