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Gina Barreca, PhD



“Once again - you hit a home run! Gina was hilarious! The crowd did not stop roaring with laughter.  I'll be in touch soon to think about 2012! Thanks Barbara!” --
Sandra Geddes, CAVS, Manager of Community Outreach,
Annual Girl’s Night Out,
CVPH Medical Center, Plattsburgh, NY

Humorist, Best-selling Author, Smart and Funny

Hailed as “smart and funny” by People magazine, Gina Barreca sets the bar high as a humorous motivational speaker. All you have to do is look at her book titles, to know that Gina is a very funny lady.

She is the author of the best-selling They Used to Call Me Snow White, But I Drifted, Perfect Husbands (and Other Fairy Tales) — reissued in 2013 in a “classic” edition. Her most recent book is If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?  Other titles are,  It’s Not That I’m Bitter…or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World; Sweet Revenge: The Wicked Delights of Getting Even; Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful, and, Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League. Collaborating with Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post, Gina also co-authored I’m With Stupid, One Man, One Woman. 10,000 Years of Misunderstanding Between the Sexes Cleared Right Up.

Dr. Barreca has been a tenured professor for twenty years and has written influential work for major publications including The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Atlantic Journal Constitution, and dozens of magazines. She has appeared on scores on radio and television programs including 20/20, 48 Hours, The Today Show, and Oprah.

Professor of English Literature and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut, Regina Barreca grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. from Cambridge University (where she was a Reynolds’ Fellow), and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York. Gina received the 1998 Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Connecticut’s Institute for Teaching and Learning.

“To see the way wit functions for all of us–men and women alike–is to see a map of our culture: to focus on things we’ve seen but not necessarily processed or analyzed; explaining what we’ve sensed but not yet bothered to define. Humor may have been ignored or challenged, but it has always been a secretly potent, delightfully dangerous, wonderfully seductive and, most importantly, powerful way to make a statement, to tell our stories, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.” ~ Gina Barreca, Who’s Laughing Now?

Most Popular Topics:

Too Much of A Good Thing Is Wonderful: Laughter and Survival

Humor is a tool for survival. And at its best moments, it is even more than that: it’s an act of redemption. Humor allows us to redeem moments that might otherwise have been lost to pain or despair–being able to laugh is sometimes more about working through an issue than it is about avoiding or treating it lightly. Laughter is the most human of activities–it’s one of the few things people do that animals do not (the other activities that animals do not perform involve dieting and singing out loud to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” on the car radio).


Too Much of A Good Thing is Wonderful: Laughter and Success

We need laughter in our lives. We choose laughter at moments of crisis because the other alternatives are, as woman after woman put it, crying or throwing up and neither of those makes you look good. The stories we tell ourselves and the ones we tell each other give us a way to rattle the cage door sometimes, sometimes we can rattle it hard enough to allow for escape, sometimes we rattle it so hard it falls away altogether. Laughing together is as close as you can get to another person without touching, and sometimes it represents a closer tie than touching ever could. The freedom that laughter echoes and hints at is the freedom to embrace pleasure, perspective, and finally, love.


Who’s Laughing Now? Humor and a Sense of Community

Humor allows for and even permits a kind of informal interaction between groups of people not otherwise part of a shared circle; humor allows for an important and perhaps unparalleled mobility between groups divided by status, age, hierarchy, gender, ethnicity, or class. How can these interactions be encouraged? What contexts need to be established and understood?


Harass Is One Word: Laughter, Power and the Importance of Making Yourself Heard

How can we enrich our abilities to create and deal with humor created by others – especially on those occasions when the humor initiated by others in more powerful positions seems to be mean-spirited or inappropriate? If we cannot imagine giving up laughter in the workplace (and we should never consider such a thing), then how can we promote and encourage a healthy, de-stressing (as opposed to distressing) use of humor?


The Truth About Mothers and Daughters

Why is nothing more important, more complicated and more fun than a relationship between mother and daughter? You will hear an honest and humorous journey about the complexities of this unique relationship that will lead to a better understanding of mothers and daughters.


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