From 25th to 29th June 2012, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, hosted the International Society of Humor Studies Conference.
Claire Fox and Siân Jones attended the conference, looking forward to the vastly interdisciplinary nature of the papers promised by the conference programme. They weren’t disappointed. Keynote addresses each morning covered a wide array of topics, from the aesthetics of practical jokes (Moira Marsh) to the place of humour in the study of positive psychology (Willibald Ruch) .
After this, there was a choice of seminars; including a psychology seminar each day of the conference. We were intrigued by a number of papers looking at the humour styles questionnaire (Martin et al., 2003). We learnt about how humour styles are related to religiosity (Bruce Findlay), and how they differ in gifted vs non-gifted adolescents (Aylona Ivanova). We also came across another longitudinal study using the humour styles questionnaire, looking at the associations between daily humour styles and well-being (Kim Edwards).
We also enjoyed a presentation by Andrea Samson, on how humour might be used as an emotion regulation strategy, because if people are encouraged to and able to reappraise negative pictures in a humourous manner, this can have a positive effect on their well-being.
Beyond the papers, conference delegates were treated to a night of Polish mime, courtesy of The Worms (Kabaret Świerszczychrząszcz), who were hilarious; as well as to some gorgeous Polish cuisine; and a tour of Southern Poland’s castles. This gave us the opportunity to network with other humour researchers and to discuss future collaborations…
Feel free to look through the gallery, below, to see some photographs of our experience.