Dr. Gina Barreca has appeared on 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, NPR and Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. Her earlier books include the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor, It’s Not That I’m Bitter, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World, and Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League. Of the other six books she’s written or co-written, several have been translated into to other languages–including Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and German. Called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry, Gina was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine. Novelist Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane.”
Gina’s weekly columns from The Hartford Courant are now distributed internationally by the Tribune Co. and her work has appeared in most major publications, including The New York Times, The Independent of London, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cosmopolitan, and The Harvard Business Review. She’s Professor of English and Feminist Theory at the University of Connecticut and winner of UConn’s highest award for excellence in teaching. Gina has delivered, often as a repeat guest, keynotes at events organized by The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, the National Writers Workshop, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and the National Association of Independent Schools, The Chicago Humanities Festival, Women In Federal Law Enforcement, Chautauqua and The Smithsonian–to name a few.
Her B.A. is from Dartmouth College, where she was the first woman to be named Alumni Scholar, her M.A. is from Cambridge University, where she was a Reynold’s Fellow, and her Ph.D. is from the City University of New York, where she lived close to a good delicatessen. A member of the Friars’ Club and the first female graduate of Dartmouth College invited to have her personal papers requested by the Rauner Special Collections Library, Gina can be found in the Library of Congress or in the make-up aisle of Walgreens. She grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island but now lives with her husband in Storrs, CT. Go figure.
Gina delights in working with groups to address their particular concerns and needs, often adapting her work to make certain every event is both successful and memorable. Laughter is essential in terms of being able to cope with the stresses and pressure of everyday life. Humor helps to establish and reinforce a shared sense of community; it enhances a sense of self-esteem within a new or established community; humor helps everyone to deal effectively with change.
Being able to find and use your own humor, as well as being able to understand how others’ humor operates, indicates a useful ability to envision a situation from a number of perspectives. It also demonstrates an attractively creative, inventive, and flexible approach to complex situations, difficult decisions, and nearly impossible tasks–in other words, humor helps us handle what we do all the time.
We enrich our lives when we’re able to create and deal with humor –although we also need to develop skills which help us deal those moments when the humor initiated by others (especially those in more powerful positions) seems to be mean-spirited or inappropriate.
Laughing together is as close as you can get to another person without giving that person a hug. And sometimes not only is laughing together more appropriate: it lasts longer, feels better and can change everything.
Gina’s Friends will help women who cannot afford to obtain life-saving diagnostic tests.
When generous and caring individuals make a major gift to support something they care about, wonderful things happen. Gina Barreca and her husband, Michael Meyer, have expressed their desire to make a real difference in the lives of others by establishing a fund at the Windham Hospital Foundation: Gina’s Friends.
Gina’s Friends will help women who cannot afford to obtain life-saving diagnostic tests because they fall through the cracks of state and/or federal healthcare programs, they lack adequate insurance or have no insurance at all. Women of all ages benefit from programs offered in schools, clinics, hospital-based programs, outpatient services, and community settings. We help women to access the care they need, learn about preventive measures to keep them and their babies healthy, bring peer groups together to gain support and understanding, and inspire women to take steps to improve their health status and live longer, healthier lives.
If you want to count yourself among those generous individuals who want to help ensure that all women have access to quality healthcare, click here to make a gift to Gina’s Friends.