Conferences

Humour
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project

including a workshop by Clown Doctor and Fools for Health Founder Professor Bernie Warren 

 

Saturday 9th March 2019 – Sunday 10th March 2019
Prague, Czech Republic

Humour seems to be an essential feature of human life. It is not just about jokes but a way of looking at the world. Individually, it is beneficial to health, relieving negative energy and invigorating the mind and the body. Socially, it is an indicator of frankness and sociability. Economically, it generates communication, improves teamwork and increases efficiency. Politically, it is an important form of protest and disobedience. Historically, it has proven to be a powerful weapon in times of crisis. And it can be wielded negatively, as a weapon or entrée into dark social arenas such as racism or hatred.

Possibly the most popular form of humour is comedy. In the 21st century the entertainment industry has expanded significantly in what some see as the pre-planned ‘professionalisation’ of humour. Television shows explore situation comedy, stand up comedians attract huge numbers to live shows. Humour is carefully channeled, calculated, designed to evoke or provoke laughter and in the process reveals important differences between the two. The ability to provoke laughter, provide amusement or find humour in situations is common across cultures and societies, even though humour works in different ways and on different levels: age, education, gender, ethnicity, space and place all play a part in the things people find funny.

But humour appears in many forms and styles, including absurdity, banter, buffoonery, burlesque, comedy, derision, facetiousness, farce, foolery, irony, jocularity, mimicry, mockery, parody, puns, ridicule, sarcasm, satire, scorn, slapstick, spoonerism, taunts, tease, waggishness, witticism. Sometimes it is positive, sympathetic, or constructive; other times it can hurt, harm and damage. It can be playful or serious. It can be an act of resistance or outright rebellion; it can be inappropriate and uncontrolled. It can be repressive or subversive, self-deprecating or ironic.

No matter the form or shape it assumes, humour has a number of functions. It can send a message, reveal something new about an otherwise unquestioned event or situation, or about ourselves and our worldview. Through surprise and contradiction, humour can shift the ordinary into the extraordinary, break taboos, transgress boundaries, or call into question our otherwise steadfast beliefs. And while many of its functions are positive, humour can also allow individuals or cultures to elide disturbing facts about social inequality, ignore or downplay injustices and perpetuate stereotypes. Not infrequently, a form of humour more akin to aggressiveness, that incorporates malice, can be used to cause intentional harm, shame and exercise control. Essentially, it can be a technology of power, providing an avenue for expression of prejudice, bias, and bigotry.

The inaugural meeting of this inclusive interdisciplinary project will seek to map the way humour works at all levels and begin to ask why we laugh, how we laugh and what purpose humour serves, with a view to forming a publication to engender further collaboration and discussion. We aim to bring together participants from a wide range of disciplines, professions, and vocations to create a unique, interdisciplinary event that will explore the serious topic of humour in all its wondrous forms. Our goal is to examine the intersections between humour and the human, and to look beneath the surface and beyond the laughter to examine the reasons why we laugh and why we respond with humour to persons, events and situations.

Some of our suggested issues to be approached include (but are not limited to):

  • Humour to human: theory of humours, theories of humour
  • The archaeology of humour and laughter: from ancient times to the new Millennium
  • Humour and pain, humour and death: laughter as therapy
  • Humour in times of change and conflict: acts of resistance
  • Humour and the city: do cities have a particular sense of humour? what are the differences between urban, suburban and rural humour?
  • The language of humour: from traditional jokes to high-brow intellectualism
  • The humour gap: gendered versions of funniness
  • Laughter in the classroom: humour in educational settings
  • Humour in performance: theatre, cinema, stand-up comedy, television, music
  • Humour in folklore: trickster figures and fictional characters
  • Entertainers in time: clowns and harlequins, pranksters and jesters, comics and comedians
  • Borders of humour: dark humour, horror humour, crude humour, toilet humour, off-colour humour
  • Humour – levels of acceptance in science, business, politics, religion, architecture, gastronomy, etc.
  • Completing our five senses: how to develop a sense of humour
  • The English sense of humour: understatement, euphemism, self-effacement
  • Globalisation of humour: traceability and translatability
  • The present status and future prospects of humour

Our main goal is to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at an international level, in a dynamic and interactive setting. Thus, we welcome participants from all relevant disciplines, professions and vocations (NGO personnel, aid workers, researchers, mental and physical health professionals, educators, human rights activists, counsellors, social workers, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, politicians, business owners, military personnel, photographers, designers, editors, journalists, comedians, therapists, customs workers and members of the border patrol, labour specialists, historians, sociologists, psychologists, economists, anthropologists, ethnographers social media experts, artists and many more)

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 12th October 2018. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 26th October 2018

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 25th January 2019.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Humour Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Dr Elena Nistor: elena_nistor@yahoo.com
Project Administrator: praguehumour@progressiveconnexions.net

Prague 2019 Details and Information

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ book of Abstracts
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 12th October
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 26th October 2018
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 12th November 2018
Booking Form Submissions

w/b Monday 22nd November 2018
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Friday 4th January 2019
Final date for payment

Friday 25th January 2019
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Monday 18th February 2019
Final programme to printing
The conference is being held at the 5* Hotel Ambassador Zlata Husa

Václavské náměstí 840/5,
110 00, Prague 1, Czech Republic

 

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.

Standard Room - Singe Occupancy €85 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €95 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed. Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking. You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 12th November 2018 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 4th January 2019.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.