Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


On Laughter - Call for Papers

28 November 2018

Deadline extended: 14th March 2019. Conference: 11 and 12 July 2019


Deadline extended: 14 March 2019

To say the least, academics struggle with laughter. We can analyse jokes, dissect irony, theorize ‘the comic,’ and laugh ourselves, but when it comes to talking about laughter – often uncontrollable, sometimes inappropriate – we stop short. Perhaps it is too intimate, too revealing, too awkward.

‘On Laughter,’ a two-day conference hosted at the Institute of Advanced Studies at University College London on 11-12 July 2019, will address laughter itself. The humanities and the natural and social sciences all have something valuable to contribute. Reflecting this, we will have keynotes from Morten Kringelbach (Psychiatry), Yasmine Musharbash (Social Anthropology), and Devorah Baum (Literary Studies). We invite scholars working across these areas to consider the following dimensions of laughter:

  • Politics and laughter
  • Forms and performances of laughter
  • Affects of laughter
  • The laughing body
  • The evolution, history, and ontogenesis of laughter
  • Authority and laughter
  • Morality and laughter

We invite proposals for individual papers of approximately 15 minutes that address the above themes. Please send proposals to Alice Rudge and Andrew Dean, at onlaughter@ucl.ac.uk, by 14 March. Please note which themes you are planning to address. Responses will be provided by late-March.

Download the call for papers here.