Steering group

303972_10150325622237694_850578275_nPrincipal investigator: Hannah Burrows

Hannah Burrows is Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Aberdeen. She has edited, amongst other things, the corpus of Old Norse poetic riddles for the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages project (2017), and has published a number of articles on related topics. Her humour-related research interests include riddling and wordplay, the semantics of humour and laughter in Old Norse, and the genderedness of laughter in medieval Scandinavia. She is a big fan of puns.

IMG_6737bCo-investigator: Daniel Derrin

Daniel Derrin is a Teaching Fellow at Durham University. His first book was Rhetoric and the Familiar in Francis Bacon and John Donne (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2013). He is currently editing, with Professor Tony Cousins (Macquarie University), a book of essays on Shakespeare and the Soliloquy (forthcoming, Cambridge UP). His current monograph project is a study of early modern stage comedy with a particular focus on Shakespeare, and on the sixteenth century commentary, which addressed the ancient comic playwrights, Terence and Plautus.

JRMDJessica Milner Davis is currently an Honorary Associate in the School of Letters, Art and Media at the University of Sydney and the founder and co-ordinator of the Australasian Humour Studies Network. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and All Souls College Oxford and a Visiting Fellow at Università di Bologna and Clare Hall Cambridge, where she is a Life Member.

Twice President of the International Society for Humor Studies (1996 and 2001), Dr Davis is an Editorial Board member for HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research and an Affiliated Researcher with the Centre for Comedy Studies Research, Brunel University UK (CCSR). She was Commissioning Editor for nearly 50 entries for the Sage Encyclopedia of Humor Studies (2014) and is the author of the definitive study, Farce (Transaction, 2003), and of books on humour in Australian, Japanese and Chinese cultures (Understanding Humor in Japan, Wayne State UP, 2011; and Humour in Chinese Life and Letters and Humour in Chinese Life and Culture, Hong Kong UP, 2013 and 2015). Books in preparation deal with satire and politics, and with humour by and about judges. She is particularly interested in trans-disciplinary approaches to humour and laughter.

giuliaGiulia Baccini received her PhD degree from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (IT) and jointly from Charles University with a thesis on the Xiaolin (Forest of Laughs), the first collection of jokes in the history of Chinese literature. She has studied for two years in China at the Beijing Normal University and one year at Charles University in Prague (CZ). Her principal research interests lie in Early Medieval Chinese literature (220-581 AD), in particular, non canonical literary production, entertaining literature and practices linked to it. She is also interested in the diachronic study of joke-books as a “genre” in the pre-modern period.

DeliaDelia Chiaro is Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Bologna’s Department of Interpreting and Translation. Born, bred and educated in the UK, Delia has spent her entire academic career in Italy where she has combined her passion for film and TV with her interest in visual and verbal ambiguity and duplicity – an interest which has provided her with the perfect excuse to study humour in all shapes and sizes, but especially how it is perceived in translation and its cross-cultural impact. Since publishing The Language of Jokes: Analysing Verbal Play (Routledge 1992) she has written extensively on diverse aspects of language and humour, most recently Gender and Humor: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives (with Raffaella Baccolini, Routledge, New York: 2014) while The Language of Jokes in the Digital Age is forthcoming with Routledge in early 2017. She has been invited speaker on humour and translation across Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Delia is currently President of the International Society of Humor Studies (2016-17), an Editorial Board member for HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research and an Affiliated Researcher with the Centre for Comedy Studies Research, Brunel University UK (CCSR). Beyond academia, her hobbies include running, socialising and socialism.

LucyLucy Delap is a lecturer in modern British history at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Murray Edwards College.  She works on the history of child sexual abuse, and is Deputy Director of History & Policy.  She has published widely on the history of feminism, gender, labour and religion, including the prize-winning The Feminist Avant-Garde: Transatlantic Encounters of the early twentieth century in 2007, and Knowing Their Place: Domestic Service in Twentieth Century Britain in 2011. Her interests in humour and laughter range from humour’s role in social and political activism, to the quotidian humour of workplaces and homes.  She published Kitchen Sink Laughter: Domestic Service Humour in Twentieth Century Britain’ in the Journal of British Studies in 2010 and is currently working on humour and laughter within the British women’s liberation movement.


Przemysław Marciniak is Professor of Byzantine Literature at the University of Silesia, Poland where he serves as the Head of the Classics Department and the Director of the Centre for Byzantine Literature and Reception. His research interests include Middle Byzantine Literature, the reception of Byzantine culture in modern times as well as humorous and satirical literature in Byzantium. Recently he worked on the reception of ancient Greek satire in Byzantine texts. His guilty pleasures are s-f literature, gym, electronic gadgets and two British shorthair cats – Alex and Buffy.



Aubrey Mellor, OAM, is Senior Fellow at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. He is a theatre director, dramaturge and teacher, with expertise in new work and classics – especially Chekhov, Shakespeare and Brecht. Formerly Dean of Performing Arts at Lasalle and Director of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), he has been associated with arts training colleges across Australasia, and directed a range of genres from opera, dance and film. He is well known as an acting teacher to a generation of acclaimed Australian actors, and renowned for translations and productions of the classics, and for development of new work. Brought up in Variety and Circus, Mellor trained as a dancer, visual artist and musician and graduated from NIDA Production Course. In 1972 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, the first Australian to study Asian theatre, from Japan to India. He has been Artistic Director of the Jane Street Theatre (Sydney), Co-Artistic Director of Nimrod Theatre Company (Sydney), Deputy Director of NIDA, Artistic Director of the (Royal) Queensland Theatre Company, and Artistic Director of Playbox-Malthouse in Melbourne. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1992 for services to the arts, the Australian Writer’s Guild’s Dorothy Crawford Award for services to Playwriting and the International Theatre Institute’s Uchimura Prize for best production, Tokyo International Festival and has been a visiting professor to theatre schools in Japan, China, Mongolia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

WillWill Noonan teaches English and translation studies at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France, where he is a member of the EA4182 – Texte Image Langage research centre. His research interests include humour in literature, cultural studies and related disciplines, with a strong transcultural and transhistorical focus. Following on from a PhD thesis on the reflexive tradition in French and English (and more broadly European) literary humour from Aristophanes to Beckett, he is continuing to explore questions surrounding the relationship between French and English humour, conceptual and terminological approaches to humour across historical and cultural boundaries, and the role of reflexivity and other forms of textual play in helping relate texts to their social and historical context. An avid cyclist, he is also working on a digital humanities project on the relationship between cycling culture, humour and play in Britain and France in the period 1890-1940. He is a member of the International Society for Humour Studies, of the Australasian Humour Studies Network’s academic review panel, and is currently working with colleagues in France, Canada and elsewhere to establish a forum for exchange between Francophone and Anglophone, as well as European and North American, strands of humour studies.

RonRonald Stewart is an associate professor at the Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Japan. He completed his PhD in cultural history at Nagoya University. His research interests are representations of (ethnic, national and ill) Others in late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century Japanese cartoon humour magazines, the history of Japanese manga (cartoons and comics), contemporary Japanese satire and censorship, cross-cultural analyses of cartoons, and theories of political cartooning. He has published and presented on his research in both Japanese and English.