International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter

Theory, Research and Applications

Why a summer school?

Interest in both research on humour and practical applications of humour has increased sharply in the past decade. The aims and objectives for the summer school were to ensure that both new research students just beginning their research careers or those already-trained researchers considering a first research project on humour will 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.
Summer schools were first held at Queens University, Belfast, UK. From there on it is expected to be held at different locations co-organized by the the hosting institution and the Section on Personality and Assessment at Zurich University. Write to me if you want to suggest a site, lecturers, or topics. Klick here for an article describing aim of the summer school along with a brief history. Click here for Information for Institutions wishing to apply to host the International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter.

ISS supports emerging scholars

As a contribution to the early careers of emerging scholars, the summer school will be free of charge for winners of the "early scholar award" granted by ISHS at their annual conference. This award was initiated by Delia Chiaro and Willibald Ruch for the ISHS conference in Forli, July 2002 and was first given to four promising scholars there. The summer school organizers offer future winners participation in the summer school (no fees to be paid) within 3 years of the award being granted. Ermerging scholar participants may also apply to teach 1-2 hours at the summer school. Those interested should write to Willibald Ruch. We are proud to say that several former delegates from the previous summer schools won the award.

Summer Schools held and planned

  • ISS 1 and 2, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK (2001, 2002)
  • ISS 3, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (2003)
  • ISS 4, Wolverhampton, UK (2004)
  • ISS 5, Tübingen, Germany (2005)
  • ISS 6, Fribourg, Switzerland (2006)
  • ISS 7, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK (2007)
  • ISS 8, Galati, Romania (2008)
  • ISS 9, Granada, Spain (2009)
  • ISS 10, Zürich, Switzerland (2010)
  • ISS 11, Tartu, Estonia (2011)
  • ISS 12, Savonlinna, Finland (2012)
  • ISS 13, Magdeburg, Germany (2013)
  • ISS 14, Sheffield, UK (2014)
  • ISS 15, Saint-Petersburg, Russia (2015)
  • ISS 16, Brasov, Romania (2016)


This summer school is endorsed by the International Society of Humour Studies (ISHS)