Welcome to Humours of the Past

Welcome to the webspace for Humours of the Past, or HOP. We are an expanding network of professionals interested in how to access and use humour from cultures of the past. How do we understand it? translate and perform it? exhibit and (or) resist it? What does it tell us about the cultures that created it? We’re interested in how humour from various cultural contexts has an impact on present day societies too. We’re looking at comic forms with a long history in order to investigate how they have shaped our understanding of ourselves, other people and other cultures. Do historical attitudes conveyed through humour still affect our identity and our perception of others?

For more about us, please see our About page and, in time, the pages devoted to our events. If you’re a researcher working on any kind of humour in a particular historical context (whatever its cultural situation) and you would like to be listed in the members directory, so that other scholars can find you, please get in touch with us via the contact page. If you’re a translator, director, performer, curator, or in any other field engaging with humour from the past then please feel free to get in touch with us also.


Banner image: BL Harley 6563, ff. 43v-44. Made available under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Inset image: Wellcome Library, London, L0037337 Made available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0