Humor in the European public sphere: Fostering societal debate about contested expression in a globalizing world


Delia Chiaro


Delia Chiaro is a Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Bologna. She is past president of the International Society for Humor Studies, founder of the European Association for Humour Research EUHA, and author of many books and articles about translation, intercultural communication and humor, including the classic The Language of Jokes (London, 1992) and The Language of Jokes in the Digital Age (London, 2018).

Władysław Chłopicki


Władysław Chłopicki is a Senior Lecturer (adjunkt) in Linguistics and Translation at the Department of English Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He is past president of the International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS), founding editor of the European Journal of Humour Research, and the author of numerous books and articles on linguistics, intercultural communication and humor.

Juha Herkman

Research Partner

Juha Herkman is a Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki. He has published numerous articles and books on humor and cartoons; and on politics, populism and popular culture. Before turning his attention mostly to populism, he did influential work on the possibilities and conditions for creating a European public sphere.
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Giselinde Kuipers


Giselinde Kuipers is a Research Professor in Sociology at the Catholic University Leuven. She is the author of numerous articles and books on humor, media, globalization, beauty and morality, including Good Humor, Bad Taste: A Sociology of the Joke (Berlin 2006/2015). Her work was also the topic of a webcomic, funded by the European Research Council. From 2012 to 2016, she was the Editor-in-Chief of the ISI-ranked journal HUMOR International Journal of Humor Research.

Carmen Maíz-Arévalo

Research Partner

Carmen Maíz-Arévalo is Associate Professor at the Department of English Studies at the Complutense University of Madrid, where is also the Academic Head of the Centre of Modern Languages at this university. She has published many articles on intercultural studies, pragmatics and language teaching, especially about humor and (im)politeness.


About the project

The project “Humour in the European Public Sphere”, sponsored by the UNA Europa consortium, presents a range of  examples of national and cross-national controversies in many European countries over the use of humour in public situations, both face-to-face and in the media, by the politicians, journalists, celebrities and other public figures.