In sections limited to 15 students each, this course primarily provides systematic instruction and practice in reading and writing academic prose, with emphasis on argumentation. The course also provides instruction and practice in conducting research and in public speaking. Particular sections of this course are designed to support nonnative speakers and bilinguals, who are strongly encouraged to consider those sections. Priority is given to incoming students in the fall-semester sections. Course may be repeated for credit with another instructor: Nietzsche called maturity the rediscovered seriousness of a child at play. What is the meaning of comedy, in light of this “seriousness of the child at play?” Why do we laugh, at what and in what way? How do we distinguish silly comedy from serious comedy? This course examines such questions on comic platforms including film, music, videos, short stories and cartoons. We explore the “structure” of the comic moment as viewer or listener encounters surprise, transgression or enchantment, especially in 20th-century comedy, and the affectivity of the comic encounter from pure “clowning” to savage social commentary. Enrollment limited to 15.