Netherlands, Groningen

Humor and Satire in Contemporary Europe

when 13 July 2019 - 20 July 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1 EC
fee EUR 150

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.

Course leader

Dr. Alberto Godioli

Target group

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.

Course aim

After this course you are 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.

Credits info

1 EC
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.

Fee info

EUR 150: This includes coffee breaks + lunch for 5 days, welcome drinks, Sunday evening dinner, closing reception, city excursion, course materials.