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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools Humor & Satire

Humor and Satire in Contemporary Europe

Cultural, Political, and Legal Perspectives

Dates & location 13 - 20 July 2019, Groningen, the Netherlands
Level Advanced BA, MA, PhD
Fees 395 (incl. housing)
150 (excl. housing)
Academic coordinator Dr. Alberto Godioli
Contact satire
Dover Banksy by ijclark (2017)
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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 Erdo─čan 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).
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The final deadline for application is 19 May 2019.


This summer school was an amazing experience for me. Two aspects were particularly important: the fact that its interdisciplinarity was substantial, a real and useful dialogue among different disciplines; and its friendly atmosphere, in which lecturers, graduate and undergraduate students could work together and inspire each other, in class or having a drink together. The organization was perfect, also outside the classroom: the organizers were always helpful. The group was great, really fun, and Groningen is lovely. I strongly recommend it .’

(Serena Vandi, PhD, University of Leeds)

Last modified:03 August 2020 3.19 p.m.