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Summer School - Humor and Satire in Contemporary Europe, 13-20 July 2019, Netherlands

Publish Date: Jan 29, 2019

Deadline: May 05, 2019

Event Dates: from Jul 13, 2019 12:00 to Jul 20, 2019 12:00

 Humor and Satire in Contemporary Europe

Cultural, Political, and Legal Perspectives

What is the role of humor and satire in contemporary democracies? Is the ‘right not to be offended’ more important than the ‘right to offend’? Questions such as these have become more and more prominent in recent years, within and outside Europe – suffice it to mention the disputes over Charlie Hebdo’s use of dark humor (before and after the 2015 terrorist attack), as well as the transnational debates sparkled by Jan Böhmermann’s Erdoğan poem (2016) or Michelle Wolf’s jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (2018).

This interdisciplinary summer school will focus on the various forms taken by humour in contemporary European societies; we will discuss a broad range of sources, from literature and stand-up comedy to memes and cartoons. You will have a chance to attend and take active part in seminars held by leading international scholars in the fields of Sociology, Journalism, Law, Politics, Literary and Cultural Studies; each session will focus on a specific topic, such as satire and populism, freedom of speech and hate speech, theoretical and empirical approaches to humor research, and several others.

Building on a unique combination of different disciplinary perspectives, this summer school will appeal to students and early career researchers with an interest in the multiple theories and practices of humor; it will also welcome applicants without any previous training in the subject, who are interested in exploring humor and satire as a way to better understand the conflicts and tensions underlying contemporary Europe.


Please submit the following documents with your application:

  • CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page)

For (Research) MA and PhD students: If you wish to present your current research during the workshop, please also submit a short abstract (approx. 250 words).
The deadline for application is 5 May 2019.

Course Info

Target group

The summer school is designed for students from various levels (advanced BA, MA, PhD), who have an interest in one or more of the following topics:

  • Theories and practices of humor – how does humor work, and what is its role in society?
  • Political satire: history and present-day forms;
  • Humor as a tool to explore key issues in contemporary Europe (the 2008 financial crisis, populism, Brexit…);
  • Satire and visual culture, from cartoons to memes;
  • Contemporary debates on freedom of speech;
  • Humor and cognitive studies.

The school is open to BA, (Research) MA, and PhD students. The minimum requirement for this course is having an advanced BA level in any of the following fields: European Studies, Literature and Culture, Law, Media Studies, Social Sciences.

No previous expertise in the field of humor and satire is required. If you are actively doing research on a related topic, you will have the opportunity to present your work during the MA/PhD workshop.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English .

Course schedule

The summer school programme will start on Monday 15 July and end on Friday 19 July 2019.
We recommend participants to arrive before 3PM on Sunday 14 July, in order to participate in the welcoming activities.

The full programme of the summer school will be announced soon.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  • Analyse several different forms of humor across various media (literature, film, TV, social media, etc.), in the light of cutting-edge theories and methodologies;
  • Discuss humor and satire in relation to a given cultural and societal framework, with particular (but not exclusive) attention to contemporary Europe;
  • Critically reflect on ongoing debates and controversies regarding humor, satire, and freedom of speech.


Contact hours: 25 (5 hours x 5 days)
Preparation: 5 (readings to be distributed beforehand)

Upon successful completion of the program, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 30 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.


Participation fee for the summer school is € 150, and includes: coffee breaks + lunch for 5 days, welcome drinks, Sunday evening dinner, closing reception, city excursion, course materials.

Housing in an international student house is available upon request (7 nights, from Saturday 13 July to Saturday 20 July). Participation fee including housing is €400.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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