18th 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:


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.


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 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 and less formal talks with lecturers are encouraged throughout the week. 


The Symposium is where delegates may present their planned or finished research, or ideas on how to implement and use humour in applied settings, in any form they like.

Feedback will be offered from the experts in the field as part of the Q&As generated. 


Dr Nicola Allen & Dr Gerry Carlin, University of Wolverhampton, Department of Humanities

Dr Daisy Black, University of Wolverhampton, Department of Humanities

Dr Ian Brodie, Cape Breton University, Cultural and Creative Studies, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, School of Arts and Social Sciences

Dr Tom Ford, Western Carolina University, USA, Department of Psychology

Dr Jennifer Hofmann, University of Zurich, Department of Psychology

Dr Dean Kelland, University of Wolverhampton, UK, Department of Art and Design

Dr Sharon Lockyer, Brunel University, UK, Department of Social Sciences, Media and Communication

Dr Graeme Ritchie, University of Aberdeen, UK, Department of Computing Science

Prof Willibald Ruch, University of Zurich, Department of Psychology

Prof Paul Simpson, University of Liverpool, Department of English

Prof Julia Taylor Rayz, Purdue University, USA, Department of Computer and Information Technology

Dr Tony Veale, University College Dublin, School of Computer Science



Please check back regularly for updates of confirmed speaker and topic updates


Details of Presentations

These will be posted here when they become available.