Attending the International Society for Humor Studies conference

I am at Boston University, attending the International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS) annual conference. ISHS is an interdisciplinary group — psychologists, linguists, historians and many others — who are interested in the study of humor.

Having never been to the conference before, I am eager to sample the wide range of talks being offered. A few talks that I plan to attend:


Can Ovulatory Cycle Shifts Affect Humor Preferences?

Gil Greengross, University of New Mexico; Melissa Heap, University of New Mexico and Robert Mankoff, University of Michigan, New Yorker Cartoon Editor

I Laugh Therefore I Am: Humor as a Defense Mechanism in the Holocaust

Chaya Ostrower, Beit Berl College


The Death and Resurrection of Louis CK: Report on a Bombing in Dublin

Eddie Naessens, Trinity College Dublin

The First Japanese Laugh: The Striptease Laugh Restores the Sunshine to the Earth

Shinya Morishita, Kansai University


Gelotophobia: Is it just social anxiety repackaged?

Bruce Findlay, Swinburne University of Technology

Interactive Joke Writing…from Theory to Practice: Software that Teaches Joke Creation

Peter Desberg, California State University Dominguez Hills and Greg Dean, Stand- Up Comedy Workshop


There is even a joke telling contest on Thursday night, but unfortunately, I am going to miss it. At least I won’t have to subject the audience to my “What’s brown and sticky” joke – especially because they have already heard it.