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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Adult courses

American Humor from Mark Twain to Jon Stewart

Week 4: July 28-August 3, 2019

The registration period for this program has passed.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

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The Ralph Janis Seminar in History

"Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever." So said Mark Twain. In this class, we'll try to define the American sense of humor.

Among a wealth of sources, we'll look at the frontier humor of Twain; analyze Charlie Chaplin's tramp and vaudeville's appeal to immigrants; consider American romantic comedies and TV sitcoms; and discuss Woody Allen's distinctive brand of humor. We'll also consider American political satire from George Carlin to P. J. O'Rourke, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. Our earnest (and occasionally less than earnest) efforts to characterize American humor will be led by no less a wit than Glenn C. Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies.

Come prepared to read, listen, discuss, and laugh.

Glenn C. Altschuler

Glenn C. Altschuler is dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions and the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He received his PhD in American history from Cornell in 1976 and has... > more

Registration

Once you've registered, we'll send you materials on the academic program and other information to help you prepare for CAU. A $50 per person, per class, non-refundable deposit is required with your registration. All deposits are applied to the full program charges. Register now!

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For adults staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) includes the course, lodging, fifteen all-you-care-to-eat meals, banquet dinner, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, evening lectures, walks and talks, welcome and farewell receptions, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees as noted. Wednesday dinner is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees.

Standard room, on-campus housing, and meals

$1,970 double occupancy, $100 single supplement

Standard room, on-campus housing with exclusive bath, and meals

$2,030 double occupancy, $150 single supplement

Course fee for commuters and those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites

$1,285. This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option

$327. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience. It includes six breakfasts, five lunches, and four dinners.