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Humour Summer School 2020
20th International Summer School & Symposium on Humour & Laughter



Aims and Objectives

Interest in both research on humour and practical applications of humour has increased steadily in the past decade. For new research students just beginning their research careers or for more experienced researchers considering a first research project on humour, this summer school will ensure that they enter the field with a strong foundation in existing theoretical and methodological issues. Wewill highlight potential pitfalls in the scientific study of humour and laughter. For those interested in practical applications of humour in a variety of applied settings, the summer school 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 international lecturers. (See the main Summer School site for information about previous events in this series.)

There are two types of sessions:

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 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.


This year's lecturers include (will be updated soon):


Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Dr. Graeme Ritchie (University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

Prof. Dr. Christian F. Hempelmann (Department of Literature and Languages, Texas A&M)

Prof. Dr. Alexander Brock (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)

Dr. Tracey Platt (University of Sunderland, UK)