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Connecticut, United States

Author, Humorist, and Professor of Feminist Theory

Hailed as “smart and funny” by People magazine, Gina Barreca has spoken to clients all over the world. All you have to do is look at her book titles, to know that Gina is a very funny lady.

Bestselling Author

Gina Barreca is author of the 2016 book If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse? Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times, which was an ELLE Reader’s Prize selection and excepted in Reader’s Digest. Her earlier books include It’s Not That I’m Bitter, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World,  the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor and Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League. 

Her books have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, German, Japanese and other languages and the books she’s edited, all sixteen of them, have made her one of the world’s leading experts on why humor is one of life’s greatest survival strategies,  on the connection between power, comedy and community, and on gender and laughter.


She’s appeared on 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, Dr. Phil, NPR and Oprah to discuss politics, popular culture, education, literature and why women hate the The Three Stooges.  Gina has been called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry. She was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine and Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane.” Gina, a popular weekly columnist for The Hartford Courant, is now syndicated by the Tribune Co. and her columns appear worldwide.


A beloved Professor of English at the University of Connecticut for thirty years, Gina’s won UConn’s highest award for excellence in teaching. One of the first women to graduate from Dartmouth College, Gina was a Reynolds Fellow at Cambridge University and got her Ph.D. from the City University of New York.

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.

All Gina Barreca Books

“If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?”: Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times
Purchase Book
They Used to Call Me Snow White…but I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor
Purchase Book
Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Co-Education in the Ivy League
Purchase Book
I’m with Stupid:One Man.One Woman.10,000 Years of Misunderstanding Between the Sexes Cleared Right Up
Purchase Book
Too Much of a Good Thing Is Wonderful
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Perfect Husbands(& Other Fairy Tales: Demystifying Marriage, Men, and Romance)
Purchase Book
Sweet Revenge: The Wicked Delights of Getting Even
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Untamed and Unabashed: Essays on Women and Humor in British Literature (Humor in Life and Letters)
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It’s Not That I’m Bitter . . .Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World
Purchase Book

“ University of Connecticut English Professor Barreca offers feminism for the everywoman in these humorous essays. Expect poignant insights tucked between the laugh lines.”

- | Ms. Magazine

“Gina was hilarious! The crowd did not stop roaring with laughter."

- | Sandra Geddes, CAVS, Manager of Community Outreach, Annual Girl’s Night Out, CVPH Medical Center

"Dr. Barreca is a brilliant and provocative whirlwind who left our attendees exhausted from laughter."

- | Women's Campaign School at Yale University

“Gina’s talk was the highlight of entire fall lineup and certainly the most attended. Her huge audience was immensely entertained. People left raving that it had been a fabulous, wonderful evening.”

- | The Smithsonian Associates

Check Gina Barreca Availability

Recent Books

“If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?”: Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times
Purchase Book
They Used to Call Me Snow White…but I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor
Purchase Book

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