John Morreall, President of the ISHS (International Society for the Study of Humor) College of William and Mary, Virginia USA
Dr. John Morreall has been Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary since 2001. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from the University of Toronto.
He is President of the International Society for Humor Studies, and a
member of the editorial board of Humor: International Journal of Humor
Research, where he was Review Editor from 1988 to 1999. Prof.
Morreall’s books include:
Taking Laughter Seriously (State University of New York Press, 1983),
- The Philosophy of Laughter and Humor (State University of New York Press, 1987),
- Humor Works (Human Resource Development Press, 1997), and
- Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion (State University of New York Press, 1999).
has also published more than 50 articles and reviews on humor,
including one in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. As a consultant, he has
done over 400 presentations for schools, medical groups, and
corporations. His clients include Head Start, Disney, the World Bank,
AT&T, and IBM. His work on humor work has been featured in the New
York Times, the Manchester Guardian, and Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo). Dr. Morreall has appeared on radio and television in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, and the Netherlands.
Ursula Beermann, Dept. of Psychology, Zurich University, Switzerland
Ursula Beermann is a lecturer in the section of Personality and Assessment, Institute of Psychology in Zurich. She finished her studies of Psychology in Karl Franzens University of Graz (Austria) in 2004. Since july 2004 she is working as a doctorate in Zurich.
2005 she passed the FACS Final Test after having attended a FACS
training workshop in 2004 (conducted by Erika Rosenberg). She is
currently teaching “Diagnostics of Emotional behavior" (with FACS as an
element of the course). Her emphases in scientific work are FACS,
Positive Psychology (values and virtues, orientations to happiness, and
satisfaction with life) and humour. Her PhD project will deal with the
question how humour can serve different virtues.
Irina Falkenberg, Dept. of Psychiatry, Tuebingen University, Germany
Irina Falkenberg is a resident at the University of Tübingen,
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. She is currently working on
the perception and processing of humour in psychiatric patents. She
recently started a group programme using humour as a coping tool for
psychiatric patients with depression.
Christian F. Hempelmann, Georgia Southern University, Georgia, USA
Christian F. Hempelmann graduated from Purdue University
with a Ph.D. in linguistics, specializing in humor studies and
computational linguistics. His dissertation, entitled "Paronomasic
Puns: Target Recoverability towards Automatic Generation," was
supervised by Victor Raskin. He has been working in linguistic humor
studies since 1996, received an M.A. in Linguistics from the University
of Hannover, Germany, in 1998 and another M.A. in English from
Youngstown State University in 2000 with a thesis on "Incongruity and
Resolution of Humorous Narratives-Linguistic Humor Theory and the
Medieval Bawdry of Rabelais, Boccaccio, and Chaucer" supervised by
Salvatore Attardo. Apart from linguistic humor studies, his research
interests include ontological semantics, historical linguistics, and
phonology. After a year as a postdoctoral researcher in computational
linguistics at the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University
of Memphis, he is about to join the Department of Writing and
Linguistics of the University of Georgia Southern as an assistant
professor for computational linguistics. Christian taught at the 2003
and 2004 International Summer Schools for Research in Humor and
Laughter, won the 2003 ISHS emerging scholar award, and has been a
member of the editorial board of HUMOR since 2005.
Neal Norrick, Chair of English Linguistics, Saarland University, Germany
Neal R. Norrick holds the chair of English Linguistics at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. He has taught English Linguistics at Northern Illinois University and the Universities of Würzburg, Kassel, Hamburg, Braunschweig and Regensburg.
He received his his B.A. in Philosophy from Lehigh University in 1970,
his M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill in 1972, and his doctorate in General Linguistics from Regensburg
University in 1978. His research specializations include conversation,
narrative, verbal humor, and phraseology. In recent years, Professor
Norrick has focused his research on spoken language.
Norrick serves on the editorial staff of the Journal of Pragmatics
(Special Issues editor) and the advisory boards of the journals Humor:
International Journal of Humor Research; Text: An Interdisciplinary
Journal for the Study of Discourse; and Discourse Processes
His publications on humor include the monograph:
- Conversational joking: Humor in everyday talk. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
and the essays:
- Non-verbal humor and joke performance. Humor 17-4 (2004), 401-409.
- Hyperbole, extreme case formulations. Journal of Pragmatics 36 (2004): 1727-1739.
- Humor, tellability and conarration in conversation. Text 24, 1 (2004): 79-111.
- Issues in conversational joking. Journal of Pragmatics 35 (2003): 1333-1359.
- On the conversational performance of narrative jokes. Humor 14-3 (2001): 255-274.
Birgit Rißland, Emerging Scholar, Educational Science, University of Lüneburg
Rißland works in the Psychological-Service Division of the Police
Department for the Province of Schleswig-Holstein. On the side, she is
on the teaching staff of the University of Lueneburg where she offers Humor Workshops for students studying to be school teachers, instructors and social educators.
She worked at the University of Lueneburg
for three and a half years on a project for quality-assurance in the
education of teachers. Part of this project was the investigation of
the associations between humor and stress-management and quality of
teaching. On the basis of this study, she won the "Emerging Scholar
Award" at the ISHS-Conference in Forli in 2002.
received her doctorate from the Technical University of Braunschweig on
the basis her thesis dealing with humor and its relevance for the
teaching profession. This thesis was published by the Klinkhardt
Publishers as well as the publication, "Lachen macht Schule" ("Laughter
Shows the Way") of which she is co-publisher.
Unfortunately Birgit Rißland cannot come!
Graeme Ritchie, Department of Computing at the University of Aberdeen, UK
Graeme Ritchie was a member of academic staff at the University of Edinburgh from 1983 to 2004, and he is now a senior research fellow in the Department of Computing at the University of Aberdeen.
He has worked in artificial intelligence and natural language
processing since 1973, publishing three books and over fifty papers.
His research into humour began in 1993 with the supervision of a
pioneering doctoral thesis on computational humour. Since then, he has
been developing a rigorous framework for analysing verbally expressed
humour, the subject of a book published in 2003. During academic year 2001-2002, he held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship on "Linguistic Modelling of Humour", and is currently principal investigator in a three-year project using
computational humour to help children develop their linguistic skills.
He lectured at the Humour Summer School in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and
was the local organiser in 2003.
Appletree Rodden, Biochemist, Physician and Cognitive Scientist, Hamburg
earning his “Local Preacher’s License” in the Methodist Church (Texas,
U.S.A.), Appletree received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, then a
psychiatric discharge from the United States Paratroopers (he’d become
a conscientious objector to war during his 2nd year of service:
directing the chapel choir, playing the organ and jumping out of
airplanes), then an M.S. and Ph.D in biochemistry, then - after 4 years
of post-doctoral research (neurochemistry) with the Department of
Psychiatry at Stanford - he went to Germany as a ballet dancer.
After 3 years of professional dancing (Staatstheater Ballet of Kassel, Germany; Israel National Opera Ballet, Tel-Aviv), he completed medical school and went directly into a residency in Neurosurgery (University of Marburg, Germany). After 8 years of Neurosurgery, Appletree went to Burkino Faso, West Africa, where he worked with the German Development Service as a village physician.
From Africa, he returned to Germany (Hamburg)
where he worked for 2 years as a rehabilitation physician for severely
brain injured patients before moving to Tübingen where he began
studying brain reorganization after brain-injury by using functional
magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
has been doing humor-and-the-brain (fMRI) research there for the past 5
years. He is also now working as a psychotherapist with the Department
of Psychosomatic Medicine at the Christian Hospital of Quakenbrueck.
Appletree interprets his life as a bizarre attempt at being faithful to his very unorthodox love affair with “Mother Church”.
He has spent the last 45 years of his life exploring the mysteries of
the mind-body-soul with a Bible in one pocket, a joke book in the
other, making music as he goes.
Willibald Ruch, Dept. of Psychology, Zurich University, Switzerland
Willibald Ruch, 2002 president of the International Society of Humour Studies (ISHS) is a professor of personality and assessment at the Department of Psychology at Zurich University, Switzerland. He received his PhD from the University of Graz, Austria in 1980 and later worked at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Berlin (Humbold) and Frankfurt in Germany and Queens University Belfast in the UK. Between 1992 and 1998 he held a Heisenberg-fellowship awarded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-DFG (German Research Foundation)
which he devoted to the study of the sense of humour. The psychology of
humour, laughter and cheerfulness has been a focal point throughout his
career and he has authored about 50 journal articles and book chapters
on the subject and constructed several humour tests. Recently he has
been studying humour from a perspective of positive psychology. He is a member of the editorial board of HUMOR--International Journal of Humor Research, co-editor of the humor research monograph series, and initiator of the humor pod in the positive psychology network. He edited and contributed several chapters to "The Sense of Humour: Explorations of a personality characteristic". A recent publication is the chapter on humour for the VIA Classification of Strengths Manual.
Throughout his work his aim has been to weave humour with adjacent
fields of inquiry while his interest in humour and laughter focus
primarily on the definition and measurement of the sense of humour,
deriving and validating a taxonomy of jokes and cartoons, the role of
emotion, mood temperament in humour, the study of the facial expression
in smiling and laughter, and more recently, the relationship between
humour, laughter and health. He is webmaster of the Humor Research website.
Christel Ruckgaber, Clowns im Dienst, Tuebingen
In 1999 Christel Ruckgaber, a trained social educator, founded "Clowns im Dienst" in Tübingen.
She is the head of this initiative, in charge of all aspects such as training, organization, administration, fundraising, etc.
with her husband, Klaus Ruckgaber, she carries out yearly training
sessions for professional clowns for children's hospitals, nursing
homes, and psychiatric clinics.
Taylor, Emerging Scholar, University of Cincinnati, Deprartment of
Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Schience, USA
Julia Taylor is a Ph.D. student at University of Cincinnati, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. A
member of the Applied Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, she works on
computational recognition of humor, for which she was a winner of an
Emerging Scholar award in 2004. In addition
to humor, her interests include natural language and text mining,
imprecise reasoning, and autonomous recognition of ontologies in the
context of the Semantic Web.
Barbara Wild, Dept. of Psychiatry, Tuebingen University, Germany
After studying medicine in Tuebingen, Boston, USA, and London, UK, Barbara Wild started her professional career training as a neurologist at the department of Neurology, Tuebingen University.
Afterwards she also trained as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist at
the Department of Psychiatry, Tuebingen. Over the years her scientific
interest shifted from movement disorders in neurological patients to
facial expressions of emotions, the phenomenon of emotional contagion
to laughter and humour (which of course is contagious!). She has written
her habilitation and published about emotional contagion in healthy
subjects as well as psychiatric patients. Besides psychometric tests
she has used fMRI for research into emotional contagion as well as the
perception of humorous stimuli. Since 2003 she also has a private
practice for neurological and psychiatric patients in Nagold, a town
near Tuebingen. Her group at the Department of Psychiatry is working on
the perception and production of humour and the use of humour as a
coping strategy in psychiatric patients.