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 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


Details of Presentations

Introduction to Humour Research

Humour and Positive Psychology

Modern History of Assessing Humour: Where Are we at After a Decade? 

Evaluation of a Picture-Based Test for the Assessment of Gelotophobia

The Temperamental Basis of the Sense of Humour: Findings on Cheerfulness

Incongruity Theories of Humour

Linguistic Theories of Humour: SSTH/GTVH/OSTH

Computational Humour: Theory and Practice

Sarcasm in Written Texts: Human and Computational Recognition and Detection

Logic in Jokes

Disparagement Humour: A Double-Edged Sword in Inter-Group Settings

A View From Below: Disparagement Humour From the Target's Perspective

Stand-Up Comedy as a Genre of Intimacy

Local Popular Culture and Comedy: Two Cases from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Intimate Genres Revisited: Stand-Up Comedy and the Folk Aesthetic in (Inter-)Action

Falling Slowly: Slapstick, Comedy and Pain Explored Through and Interdisciplinary Arts Practice

Tales of Unruly Women - A 1hr 30 performance of Medieval French and English Tales

Humour and Stylistics

Satirical Humour

Humour and Literature: 'A Mouthful of Earl Grey in the Morning - Punning from Surrealism to Gardeners' Question Time'

Irony: Broad and Shallow

Irony: Deep and Narrow


Details of Workshop

A two-hour workshop on FACs (Facial Action Coding Systems)

A one-hour workshop on Publishing in the HUMOR Journal


Poster Session

There will be a poster session on Tuesday pm.