The Columns

W&L Psychology Professor Julie Woodzicka to Lecture on Disparagement Humor in her Inaugural Urquhart ’11 Term Professorship

— by on January 7th, 2016

Julie Woodzicka, professor of psychology at Washington and Lee University, will give her inaugural lecture marking her appointment as the Abigail Grigsby Urquhart ’11 Term Professor on Jan. 15, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

She will speak on “Just a Joke? The Social Consequences of Disparagement Humor.” The talk is free and open to the public. It will be broadcast live online.

Woodzicka is the co-author of numerous articles, including “It’s Just a (Sexist) Joke: Comparing Reactions to Sexist Versus Racist Communications” (2015) in “Humor: International Journal of Humor Research;” “A Successful Model of Collaborative Undergraduate Research: A Multi-faculty, Multi-project, Multi-institution Team Approach” (2015) in “Teaching of Psychology;” and “Not All Groups are Equal: Differential Vulnerability of Social Groups to the Prejudice-releasing Effects of Disparagement Humor” (2014) in “Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.”

Woodzicka earned her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, her M.A. at the University of Dayton and her Ph.D. from Boston College, spending the last two years of her program in residence at Yale University.

She joined the faculty at Washington and Lee in 2000, and co-taught W&L’s inaugural women’s and gender studies introductory course. Woodzicka’s research explores the interpersonal and social consequences of subtle prejudice and discrimination, most recently the effects of sexist and racist humor.

Woodzicka is certified in the Facial Action Coding System, allowing her to examine nuanced facial expressions. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Council on Undergraduate Research and the American Psychological Foundation.

She has served as chairperson for W&L’s Science, Society and the Arts undergraduate research conference and the Institutional Review Board for Research with Human Subjects. She has been a member of many W&L committees, including the President’s Advisory Committee, Faculty Executive Committee, Student Affairs Committee, Student Faculty Hearing Board, Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Committee and Faculty Athletics Mentor Program (swimming).

The Abigail Grigsby Urquhart ’11 Term Professorship, established in 2007-2008 by her parents A. William and Mary Urquhart, is a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University providing support for a University faculty member judged to be excellent in teaching and in professional contributions.

Related to:,