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This paper addresses humorlessness as ontology, performance, and affect; and as threat and aspiration. It asks how the encounter with humorlessness structures the political scene and style of encounter, and it looks at how unlearning attachment to some styles of it without repairing its force have been modeled aesthetically as performance. Its cases range from the League of Revolutionary Black Workers' documentary, *Finally Got the News* (1970) to some contemporary political art of Steve McQueen, William Pope.L, and Claire Pentecost. The talk is humorless, among other things. This is a first foray into a new project.
- Speaker Lauren Berlant George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor University of Chicago
- Respondent Rob King Associate Professor of Film Columbia University
- Respondent Kendall Thomas Nash Professor of Law; Director, Center for the Study of Law and Culture Columbia University