Regina Barreca


Professor. Storrs.


Called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry, Professor Gina Barreca was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine. Novelist Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane.” Barreca’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.

Arriving in Storrs in 1987, Barreca is now a Professor of English and Engagement Fellow at the University of Connecticut and winner of UConn’s highest award for excellence in teaching. Barreca has delivered, often as a repeat guest, keynotes at events organized by 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.

Barreca’s 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 Reynolds 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 to have her personal papers requested by the Rauner Special Collections Library, Barreca can be found in the Library of Congress or in the make-up aisle of Walgreens. Barreca grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island but now lives with her husband in Storrs, Connecticut. She recently joined the Mark Twain House & Museum Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Friars Club and an honoree of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. She is the 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. 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, as well as other languages, and the books she’s edited, all seventeen of them, have made her one of the world’s leading experts on why humor is one of life’s greatest survival strategies. She’s appeared on 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, NPR and Oprah to discuss politics, popular culture, education, literature, and why women hate the The Three Stooges.  


Specialties: 20th-Century British literature, women’s writing and feminist literary theory, the novel, creative writing.

Current Research:


View Regina Barreca’s Faculty Bookshelf

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Contact Information
Mailing AddressUniversity of Connecticut
Department of English
215 Glenbrook Road, U-4025
Storrs, CT 06269-4025
Office LocationAustin 130