The 2008 Prize
On October 13, 2009, Dr. Stephen Halliwell was awarded the prestigious John D. Criticos Prize for his book, “Greek Laughter“. He received the award from Elizabeth Fotinelli-Criticos in a ceremony held by the London Hellenic Society and sponsored by the Criticos-Fotinelli Foundation.
2008 Stephen Halliwell, “Greek Laughter” A Study of Cultural Psychology from Homer to Early Christianity
The first book to offer an integrated reading of ancient Greek attitudes to laughter. Taking material from various genres and contexts, the book analyses both the theory and the practice of laughter as a revealing expression of Greek values and mentalities. Greek society developed distinctive institutions for the celebration of laughter as a capacity which could bridge the gap between humans and gods; but it also feared laughter for its power to expose individuals and groups to shame and even violence. Caught between ideas of pleasure and pain, friendship and enmity, laughter became a theme of recurrent interest in various contexts. Employing a sophisticated model of cultural history, Stephen Halliwell traces elaborations of the theme in a series of important texts: ranging far beyond modern accounts of ‘humour’, he shows how perceptions of laughter helped to shape Greek conceptions of the body, the mind and the meaning of life.
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Halliwell is Professor of Greek at The School of Classics at St. Andrews University. Previous posts in the Universities of Oxford, London, Cambridge and Birmingham. Visiting professorship in the University of Chicago (1990), visiting research fellowship in the University of California at Riverside (1993), visiting professorship in Philosophy in the University of Rome (1998), Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor, McMaster University (2009), Chaire Cardinal Mercier, University of Louvain (2010).
Click on the link below to hear George Millier’s interview Stephen Halliwell on the internet.