FOL University


Sunday, November 2

1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

The Friends of the Library’s stimulating FOL University program returns Sunday Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m. in the library’s meeting room.  Modeled on the concept of  a one-day university, this events features lectures by two scholars on timely and fascinating topics, with a brief refreshment break in-between. The first scholar will be John McWhorter, Associate Professor in the English and Comparative Literature department at Columbia University. Dr. McWhorter has written many books on language including “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English” and the recently published “The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language.”  

In his return appearance at the library, McWhorter will be discussing texting and its impact on writing. Texting is often thought of as a threat to formal writing skills, but McWhorter argues that texting is actually a form of speech rather than writing, and that constructions like LOL are less slang than new ways of subtle expression.

Following a brief intermission, History Professor Joseph Dorinson of Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus will speak on political humor. Dorinson will examine how political leaders have employed wit to their advantage and demonstrate why they also became targets of verbal missiles – how humor establishes the parameters of power and punishes those who travel beyond the pale.

A noted author and authority in the field of popular culture, Dorinson’s research specialties span humor studies, sports history, Russian immigration, Brooklyn and Jewish history, and World War II movies and music. His broadcast appearances have included Fox News, NBC, WLIW-TV, New York 1, and WNYC-AM’s New York and Company.

FOL U is sponsored by the Epstein Family in memory of Professor Edmund Epstein.