Campus Life

Popovic to present 'Laughtivism: The Power of Humor in Nonviolent Struggle'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Center for Global Studies at Penn State will host Srdja Popovic, activist, global thinker, and founder and executive director of the Center for Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS), on Feb. 26 at University Park.

Popovic will deliver a lecture titled “Laughtivism: The Power of Humor in Nonviolent Struggle” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Lewis Katz Auditorium. Popovic will discuss the power of humor in social movements, especially against some of the world’s biggest dictators. Popovic argues that by using humor, movements gain popularity and grow exponentially, which is key for a successful social movement. He also will discuss the different ways of using humor as a strategy in nonviolent movements. Ultimately, Popovic promotes the idea that nonviolent revolutions work and make the world a more peaceful and democratic place.

In 1998, Popovic founded the student movement “Otpor!” (“Resistance!”), which played a crucial role in ousting former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. After Milosevic was defeated, Popovic was elected to the Serbian parliament, where he served from 2000 to 2004. Following his career in parliament, Popovic went on to found CANVAS, a nonprofit organization based in Belgrade, Serbia, that aims to teach the use of nonviolence to make change. Apart from being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, Popovic was listed as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers" of 2011 by Foreign Policy magazine. Popovic also is the author of "Blueprint for Revolution."

A reception and book signing will immediately follow the lecture. Copies of "Blueprint for Revolution" will be available for purchase.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of History, the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, the Paterno Fellows Program, the Department of Political Science, the Rock Ethics Institute, the School of International Affairs, Schreyer Honors College, and the Department of Sociology and Criminology.

For more information, contact Sarah Lyall-Combs at 814-867-4697 or email at

Last Updated January 26, 2019


  • Sarah Lyall-Combs, Assistant Director, Center for Global Studies