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Summer school on humor and satire in contemporary Europe

What is the role of humor in our everyday lives? Is satire only a tool for scapegoating and stereotyping, or can it lead us to a fuller understanding of complex realities? Questions such as these have become more and more prominent in recent years, within and outside Europe – suffice it to mention the controversies related to Charlie Hebdo’s use of dark humor (before and after the 2015 terrorist attack), as well as the massive role played by memes, cartoons and caricatures in populist and anti-populist discourse (from Brexit to the last US elections).

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 and Communication, Literary and Cultural Studies; each session will focus on a specific topic, such as humor and populism, jokes and ‘bad taste’, freedom of speech vs hate speech, 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.

The summer school will take place in Groningen, 14-21 July 2018; deadline for application is May 7th. More details, including the full programme, can be found here.

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