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Humour Summer School 2008
8th International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications


Aims and Objectives

Interest in both research on humour and practical applications of humour has increased sharply in the past decade. For new research students just beginning their research careers or those already-trained researchers considering a first research project on humour, this course will ensure that they enter the field with a strong foundation in existing theoretical and methodological issues, and are well versed in the pitfalls confronting the scientific study of humour. For those interested in practical applications of humour in a variety of applied settings, the course will introduce them to the kinds of approaches that are being used around the world to put humour to work and to deliver the benefits of humour and laughter.

Structure of Course

There will be sessions from Monday morning to Saturday afternoon inclusive, with one afternoon free for relaxation, sight-seeing, etc., and about half a day during the week for the Symposium. For the rest of the time, classes will be presented by a number of lecturers. (See the main Summer School site for information about previous events in this series.)

The sessions are of two types:

Talks: These usually last about 45-50 minutes with a further 10 minutes or so for questions and discussion. These constitute a single slot on the timetable. Most of the presentations are Talks.

There will also be a small number of Meet the Lecturer sessions, where a participant can sign up for a short one-to-one discussion with a lecturer of his/her choice.


The Symposium is where participants may present their planned or finished research, or ideas on how to implement and use humour in applied settings. The Symposium will be held on June, 26th, 2008.

Symposium schedule (PDF, 36 KB)


This year's lecturers are :

Dr Dorota Brzozowska (Opole University) (ISHS Emerging Scholar, 2005)

Professor Christie Davies (University of Reading)

Dr Jessica Milner Davis (University of Sydney)

Dr Christian Hempelmann (Hakia Inc.)  

Dr Giselinde Kuipers (University of Amsterdam)

Dr Graeme Ritchie (University of Aberdeen)
Professor Willibald Ruch (University of Zurich)

Dr Andrea Samson (University of Fribourg) (ISHS Emerging Scholar, 2006)

Details of presentations

(Latest revision: April 2008)

View abstracts online (HTML)

View/download printable copy (PDF, 225 KB)

View/download timetable for the week (PDF, 22 KB)

Trips and Excursions


  • One afternoon free on Wednesday includes a boat trip on the Danube River, where dinner will be served. The price for the trip is included in the registration fee.

  • A 3-day excursion starting on the 29th of June to the Royal Peleş Castle and Bran Castle (also known as Dracula’s Castle). The participants would have to pay for their accommodation in a guesthouse that can easily accommodate 25 people, close to the Bran Castle itself. The road leading to Bran passes by the place where the Hollywoodian production Cold Mountain was filmed back in 2003 and also by the Râşnov Fortress. Bran Castle is only 30 km away from Braşov, one of the largest and most cherished cities of the country, in the Transylvanian region. Surrounded on three sides by mountains (Eastern and Southern Carpathians), it was a perfect place for a medieval settlement. The old city, founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211, is one of the best preserved cities in all of Europe. It was thoroughly restored to the delight of an increasing number of tourists. Saschiz village, a UNESCO World Heritage site is also quite close and is worth visiting. The costs for the excursion are not included in the registration fee.

  • Alternatively, a day trip to Bucharest to visit the Romanian Parliament building is also a possibility. ‘People’s House’ was built during the darkest days of Ceauşescu's regime. Standing 84 m above ground level on 12 floors, the building is the second biggest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. The cost for the trip is not included in the registration fee.



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