Critical Inquiry: Comedy: An Issue RELEASE PARTY

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm


Comedy’s pleasure comes in part from its ability to dispel anxiety, as so many of its theoreticians have noted, but it doesn’t simply do that. As both an aesthetic mode and a form of life, its action just as likely produces anxiety, risking transgression, flirting with displeasure, or just confusing things in a way that both intensifies and impedes the pleasure. Comedy has issues. From Comedy Has Issues: An Introduction by Lauren Berlant and Sianne Ngai

Join us as we celebrate the release of the Winter 2017 issue of Critical Inquiry: Comedy: An Issue. Co-editor Lauren Berlant will be joined in conversation by contributors Judith Farquhar, David Leggett, and David Carroll Simon. Read more about the current issue here.

Presented in partnership with Critical Inquiry

At the Co-op


About Lauren Berlant: Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago. Her most recent books are Cruel Optimism (2011); Desire/Love (2012) and, with Lee Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable (2014). She and Sianne Ngai edited Comedy, an Issue (2017) for the journal Critical Inquiry, of which Berlant is co-editor. She blogs at Supervalent Thought (

About Judith Farquhar: Judith Farquhar is Max Palevsky Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology. She specializes in the anthropology of knowledge, embodiment, and everyday life, and she has long focused on contemporary forms of traditional Chinese medicine. She is the editor, with Margaret Lock, of an annotated reader, Beyond the Body Proper: Reading the Anthropology of Material Life (Duke 2007). Her most recent book, Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing (Zone 2012) was co-authored with Qicheng Zhang, a philosopher in Beijing, and it will appear in Chinese translation in 2017. Current research, with Beijing anthropologist Lili Lai, has the working title of Gathering Medicines in the Mountains; it explores the role of the state in the production of local knowledge.

About David Leggett: David Leggett moved to Chicago in 2003 and received his Masters of Fine Arts degree at The School of the Art Institute in 2007. Leggett works in painting, drawing, printmaking, bookmaking and installation. His work is heavily influenced by popular culture and both personal and cultural relationships. He has recently shown at the Hyde Park Art Center and Gallery 400 along with many other galleries in Chicago. He is represented by the Shane Campbell Gallery. An interview with him on his Critical Inquiry cover, "Comedy Is a Great Way to Break the News: A Conversation with David Leggett," can be found at

About David Carroll Simon: David Carroll Simon is assistant professor of English and an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. He is completing a book entitled "Light without Heat: The Observational Mood from Bacon to Milton."

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637