16th International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter: 
Theory, Research and Applications
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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.

Workshops: A Workshop is a double (1 or 2 hour) slot, so that the presentation can go into more depth and specialisation, and will usually be in parallel with some other very different session(s), so that participants have a choice between specialisations. A Workshop may involve activities other than traditional lecturing, for example discussion, debate, or exercises carried out by the audience members.

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, in any form they like. All the papers presented within the Symposium will be peer-reviewed and proposed for publication in an issue from 2017 of the Bulletin of Transilvania University of Brașov: Series IV – Philology. Cultural Studies (indexed in EBSCO, CEEOL, WorldCat).

Programme - ver. 29 June 2016

You can download the programme of the summer school here.

Speakers and topics

Prof. Christie Davies - Department of Sociology, University of Reading (England)

  1. Why were more and better political jokes told under socialism than in free societies?
  2. Constructing and Testing hypotheses on the basis of international comparisons: the case of the Stupidity Joke
  3. American jokes about lawyers compared with Romanian and East European jokes about Communist Party leaders: a study of power.

Dr. Liisi Laineste - Estonian Literary Museum, Center of Cultural History and Folkloristics, Tartu (Estonia)

  1. WORKSHOP: Doing humour research on the internet (digital humanities in humour research)
  2. Online and offline joking cultures

Dr. Adrian Lăcătuș - Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, Transilvania University of Brașov (Romania)

  1. Constructing humour through corporeality

Dr. Tristan Miller - Department of Computer Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany)

  1. Computational approaches to pun detection and interpretation

Dr. Jessica Milner Davis - Arts Department, University of Sydney (Australia)

  1. The long tradition of humour therapy and the theory of humours, East and West
  2. From potential to product: Creating and experiencing humour

Dr. Graeme Ritchie - Department of Computing Science, University of Aberdeen (Scotland)

  1. An overview of humour research
  2. Computer modelling of jokes
  3. Logic in jokes
  4. Incongruity – resolution descriptions of humour

Dr. Stanca Măda, Dr. Răzvan Săftoiu - Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Transilvania University of Brașov (Romania)

  1. Language and image in interaction. Notes on visual humour

Dr. Raluca Sinu - Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Transilvania University of Brașov (Romania)

  1. Focusing on humour in audiovisual translation

Dr. Villy Tsakona - Department of Education Sciences in Early Childhood, Democritus University of Thrace (Greece)

  1. The General Theory of Verbal Humor and humor perception
  2. Political jokes: Content, genres, and commentary

Dr. Hugo Stuer - Senior independent researcher (Belgium)

  1. Humor and health in the upcoming medical paradigm

Sonja Heintz - Department of Psychology - Personality and Assessment, University of Zurich (Switzerland)

  1. What humor tells about a person
  2. Measurement of humor.
  3. WORKSHOP: FACS – Facial Action Coding System

Dandan Pang - Department of Psychology - Personality and Assessment, University of Zurich (Switzerland)

  1. WORKSHOP: FACS – Facial Action Coding System