The European Journal of Humour Research <p>The EJHR is an open-access, academic journal published by <a title="Tertium" href=""><strong>Cracow Tertium Society for the Promotion of Language Studies</strong> </a>and endorsed by <a href="">The International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS)</a>. The EJHR publishes commissioned guest articles, peer-reviewed research articles and commentaries, book reviews and research notes, which are meant to track research projects from the start to the end of the project and provide details on rationale, methodology and project results and outcomes. The journal has a special focus on supporting PhD students and early career researchers by providing them with a forum within which to disseminate their work alongside established scholars and practitioners.<br />The EJHR welcomes submissions that combine research and practice or relevant applications, as well as empirical studies detailing their usefulness to the topic of humour. All papers received undergo a double-blind, peer-review process. In addition to scholars within humor research, we invite those as yet unfamiliar with (or wary of) humor research to enter the discussion. The elaboration of joint methodological frameworks is strongly encouraged. For further details or inquiries you may contact the Editors.<br />No charges are applied either for submitting, reviewing or processing articles for publication.<br />The journal is now listed in important international <a href="">indexing bases</a> including <a href="">Scopus</a> and Scimago ranking :</p> <p><a title="SCImago Journal &amp; Country Rank" href=";tip=sid&amp;exact=no"><img src="" alt="SCImago Journal &amp; Country Rank" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>This publication is supported by the <a href="">CEES</a> and ELM <a href="">Scholarly Press.</a></p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="300" height="118" /> <img src="" alt="" width="300" height="135" /></p> Cracow Tertium Society for the Promotion of Language Studies en-US The European Journal of Humour Research 2307-700X All authors agree to an Attribution Non-Commercial Non Derivative Creative Commons License on their work. Editorial <p><em>The editorial article for the special issue of EJHR “Laughter and Humour in Communication” provides an overview of all the presented articles and highlights the general idea of the issue.</em></p> Sergey Troitskiy Aleksandr Lavrentev Alyona Ivanova Liisi Laineste Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 1 6 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.653 The semiology of humour <p><em>A semiology-based approach to understanding humour is being developed and an interpretation of humour as a “counter-sign,” a two-faced sign within the space of conventionality, is put forward. The range of core attributes to interpret the phenomenon of humour is determined. The concepts of the “frame of significance,” “conventionality,” and “meta-communicative marker of conventionality” are elaborated. The general definition of humour is being formulated as a “sign-based identification of non-identifiable signs within the space of conventionality.” An outline is put forward to enable the formal distinction between satire, humour, irony, and jokes. The following questions are addressed: “Why does that which is funny cease to be so if it is repeated many times?”, “Why can the terrifying become funny when recollected?” “Why is the state of bewilderment not always funny but returning to it in one’s thoughts triggers laughter?”</em></p> Marina Borodenko Vadim Petrovsky Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 7 25 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.553 Laughter, carnival and religion in ancient Egypt <p><em>The article highlights the problem of interaction of the ancient Egypt laughter culture with the category of sacred. A person is confronted with the fact that the examples in question can often be phenomena of a different order, and the use of terms such as “carnival” or even “religion”, “temple” or “priest” in relation to ancient Egypt requires an additional explanation. We find “funny” images on the walls of tombs and in the temples, where the Egyptians practiced their cult. In the Ramesside period (1292-1069 BC) a huge layer of the culture of laughter penetrated a written tradition in a way that Mikhail Bakhtin called the carnivalization of literature. Incredible events are described in stories and fairy tales in a burlesque, grotesque form, and great gods are exposed as fools. Applying of the Bakhtinian paradigm to the material of the Middle and New Kingdom allows to reveal the ambivalent character of the Ancient Egyptian laughter: the Egyptians could joke on the divine and remain deeply religious.</em></p> Andrei Murashko Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 26 35 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.437 “Jonah’s gourd” and its early Byzantine interpretations <p><em>Many modern scholars consider the Old Testament book of Jonah being written in a boldly parodic manner. The narrative engages many details that sound humorous for a modern reader. However, from the standpoint of late Antique and early Medieval patristic exegesis, it is often unclear whether Byzantine interpreters perceived such passages laughable or at least inappropriate for a prophetic writing. This study presents a few examples of early Byzantine commentaries to the episode with Jonah and a gourd (Jonah 4:6–11). None of the commentaries expresses any explicit amusement caused by the discussed text. However, the style, method, or context of each commentary appears to be passing the traditional bounds of Bible interpretation. The earlier interpreters adhere to the most expected moral reading of Jonah 4, but they use epithets, metaphors, or omissions, which produce the effect of paradox comparable to the biblical wording itself. The later commentaries tend to involve unexpected and even provocative senses. In such interpretations, God can be thought of as being able to play with a human or even to fool and deceive. What seems us humorous in the Bible, Byzantine commentators take primarily as a paradox, which they did not explain or remove but elaborate further paradoxically. The later an interpreter is, the bolder his paradoxical approach appears. The results of the study provide some clues to understanding how the interpretation of humorous, parodic, or ironical passages were developing in the history of Byzantine intellectual culture.</em></p> Dmitry Kurdybaylo Inga Kurdybaylo Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 36 51 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.455 Irony and heroism <p><em>In the article we investigate the Christian – pagan polemic of Origen's treatise “Contra Celsum” in fragment 7.53-58, where the problem of the correlation of irony and heroism reveals the contrast between false and true deeds, for which divine honours are given. The irony that Celsus uses to attack Christians serves as a kind of “divide” that marks a contrast between pagan ideas about heroism, as a principle of deification of people, and the principles on which, from Celsus’ point of view of, Christians consider Jesus to be God. A special subject of the article is Celsus’ reflection on the ironic motive of the Book of Jonah, the story of the gourd (Jonah 4, 5-11), and the salvation of the prophet Daniel from the lion's den (Dan. 6, 16-23). Origen’s response to Celsus’ speech shows a certain similarity to the text of a pagan author in structural, stylistic and lexical aspects. Such factor reveals a rhetorical content of the response of Origen. In the field of rhetorica, Origen uses irony against his opponent: pagan heroes and philosophers now appear funny or not serious enough, whereas the Old Testament prophets are revealed as genuinely great and as a source of miracles. In light of this, Origen’s response to Celsus replaces Celsus’ ironic allusion to the gourd story from the fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah with the first verse of the second chapter, which opens the episode of Jonah’s stay in the belly of the whale. An analysis of this substitution, based on the hermeneutic principles of Origen, shows the role of Biblical irony as a specific aspect of the spiritual meaning of the sacred text. It is hypothesized that the essence of this specificity is the creation of a contrast that sets any feat of any person in the light of the historical life of Jesus Christ, who completely and exceptionally realized God's providence. This reveals a pattern or principle of going beyond the limits of human virtue to the sphere of divine being. To compare any feats with the earthly life and the death of the Saviour renders the opposition of ironic and heroic no longer a contrast between false and true: any heroism, even the exploits of the Old Testament prophets, becomes ironic / ridiculous. Thus Origen’s Christian irony is not only an instrument of rhetorical discourse, but a philosophical and literary device that allows transcending, or elevating to an unattainable level, the heroism of the life and death of the Saviour.</em></p> Maksim Prikhodko Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 52 62 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.497 When Homer ceased laughing <p><em>Since the very beginning of its proliferation, the Homeric epic has been subject to various ways of interpretation and modes of understanding. Particular attention has been paid to those passages from Homeric poems in which the gods commit obscene, absurd, or comical actions. In the opinion of critics of Iliad and Odyssey, such myths were not worthy of the appropriate faith in the Greek gods. Therefore, my article focuses on the third, “comical” group of these Homeric grey areas, and deals with the following questions: how and why did Homer’s comical passages move from a discourse of the ridiculous and the funny to a discourse of the serious by means of philosophical interpretation over the centuries? I will try to uncover the general principles and conditions of that hermeneutical mechanism which made it possible to translate Homer’s comical plots from the language of Olympic “domestic” nonsense into the language of the most important physical, ethical, and metaphysical truths. To achieve this task, my article will conditionally distinguish two ways of transition from the comical to the serious: the first, which was carried out in ancient allegorism, was to directly produce a translation, and to declare that the “superficial” meaning of the myth is false, and its deep level is true. The second way – ancient symbolism – was to turn the comical into the serious through the immediate translation of comical myths into the religious discourse of the sacred, which did not imply a stark contrast between the comical and the serious but, on the contrary, harmonized them.</em></p> Fedor Shcherbakov Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 63 73 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.476 Basilios Bessarion on George of Trebizond’s translation of Plato’s Laws <p><em>George of Trebizond (1395-1472) has spent a significant part of his life translating Greek books into Latin. The bulk of his translations is impressive: from Ptolemy’s Almagest to John Chrysostom’s homilies and works by Cyril of Alexandria, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Aristotle. He was quite an experienced translator, who had worked out an elaborated method explained in several writings. At the height of his career, George rather hastily translated Plato’s Laws. The haste and, probably, George’s bias against Plato and Platonism resulted in numerous inaccuracies of translation. Several years later, Basilios Bessarion closely scrutinized these faults in the fifth book of his In Calumniatorem Platonis, a comprehensive work aiming to refute the arguments set out in George of Trebizond’s anti-Platonic treatise Comparatio Philosophorum Aristotelis et Platonis. The paper analyses the use of such rhetorical devices as sarcasm and irony in Bessarion’s In Calumniatorem Platonis and especially in his commentary on George’s translation of Laws; it also aims to demonstrate how Bessarion turns George of Trebizond into a comic figure, thus compromising both the opponent and his interpretation of Plato’s doctrine.</em></p> Maria Semikolennykh Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 74 91 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.480 Is parody dangerous? <p><em>This article arose from the scandal which broke out in Russia in 2018, when Ulyanovsk cadets made an amateur video clip parodying the Benny Benassi’s musical video (2003). Soon, this video had more than a million views. But official Russian media sharply reproached the cadets’ performance, and even Russian authorities discussed the video. The Russian Internet community issued a lot of videos in support of the cadets. The reaction of Russian media on the cadets’ parody was mainly strong and not always adequate. I am interested in the reasons behind the fear of parody because, in my opinion, the official discourse had nothing to fear. My analysis is based on the Russian theories of parody and the medieval cultural experience. Can parody be dangerous? Why did the official media overreact?</em></p> Sergey Troitskiy Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 92 111 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.517 Understanding of comical texts in people with different types of attitudes towards humour <p><em>This study aimed to test a hypothesis about the correlation between levels of gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism and understanding of Internet memes as a specific form of humour. Participants were 45 native speakers of Russian (aged 18 – 30; 73,3 % female). The levels of Internet memes understanding were assessed independently by two judges with the use of criteria based on the results of a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews. Gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism were assessed with PhoPhiKat &lt;30&gt; questionnaire. J. Raven’s “Standard Progressive Matrices” test was used to control the level of psychometric intelligence. Concordance of judges’ scores for the understanding of memes was assessed with Kendall’s W and ranged from 0.71 to 0.84. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was used to test the main hypothesis. We found no correlation between the scores for gelotophobia, gelotophilia, and katagelasticism and understanding of Internet memes. Presumably, the type of attitude towards humour does not play a significant role in the understanding of comical texts. The qualitative content analysis of the interview protocols revealed some specific features of cognitive mechanisms of Internet memes understanding. Namely, successful participants with higher levels of understanding of Internet memes reflected more on their thinking process than those with lower levels of understanding of Internet memes, easily switched from an abstract level of reasoning to a concrete one, and tended to consistently develop detailed mental representations of the memes.</em></p> Daniil Rivin Olga Shcherbakova Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 112 131 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.456 Laughter in the context of urban soundscapes <p><em>Fifty people compiled diaries in which they described the sounds of their daily life in cities around the world. Of the 940 hours of observation there were 200 entries that referred to sounds of laughter, both live and recorded. The participants of the research always identified laughter sounds explicitly, unlike other urban sounds. The sound of laughter has a powerful cultural-symbolic superstructure. Learning how we use laughter, what we hear and how we react when someone laughs can help us to understand the key processes taking place in the urban space today. Laughter can at once attract and repel, signal danger and relieve social tension. It can lead equally to social agents’ inclusion and exclusion in the situation of interaction, and can largely determine the form and extent of their inclusion. A citizen’s interpretation of the sound of laughter depends directly on the media technologies which predominate in the urban environment and channel their cultural experience and sonic imagination.</em></p> Daria Vasileva Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 132 140 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.474 Gelotophobia, attitudes to illness and self-stigmatisation in patients with non-psychotic mental disorders and brain injuries <p><em>Gelotophobia, or the fear of being laughed at, has been described as an inability to enjoy humour and laughter in social interaction. A number of studies have shown its increased levels under various mental disorders. Gelotophobia in psychiatric patients may appear either as a primary syndrome, or as a secondary disorder connected to the patient’s reaction to their social position (self-stigmatization). In turn, self-stigmatization is closely related to the personality of the patient and, in particular, to their attitudes to illness. Since the fear of being laughed at has been studied within both the clinical concept and the continual model of individual differences, the question of differentiation between normal and pathological fear of being laughed at is topical, while borderline groups are of particular interest. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between gelotophobia, attitudes to illness, and self-stigmatization in patients with minor, non-psychotic mental disorders, as well as those with brain injuries, who also had mild mental disorders, without having the status of psychiatric patients. The sample consisted of 73 patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, and 30 patients with brain injuries. The methods used included PhoPhiKat-30, ISMI-9 (Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Inventory), and TOBOL (Types of the Attitudes to Disease). The results revealed at least a slight level of gelotophobia in 31% patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, and 20% in those with brain injuries. Gelotophobia correlated with certain types of attitude to illness in each group. Subjects displaying high levels of gelotophobia were in general characterized by disadvantageous attitudes to illness. In the group of psychiatric patients, gelotophobia was associated with self-stigmatization, whereas in the group of neurological patients it was not. Thus, in this study gelotophobia was examined for the first time in patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, as well as in those with brain injuries. Different mechanisms of gelotophobia development were suggested for the two groups.</em></p> Denis Shunenkov Victoria Vorontsova Alyona Ivanova Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 141 153 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.439 Laughing with machines <p><em>This article will analyse the preconditions of sense of humour for artificial intelligence. Can artificial intelligence have a sense of humour? Is there a difference between human and machine laughter? Some machines already fulfil certain conditions which are associated with the human sense of humour: on the most superficial level machines appear to laugh and produce jokes, and they recognize sarcasm and punchlines, and they can evaluate funniness. In short, artificial intelligence is already able to recognize humour, and reacts to it accordingly. Furthermore, people laugh with humorous machines. However, it is still uncertain whether artificial intelligence can have a sense of humour or not, at least in comparison to a human sense of humour. To build bridges between AI research and philosophy of humour, this article proposes that there are (at least) five notable philosophical issues to be addressed if we are to accept that machines can have a (humanlike) sense of humour. These principles are: 1) worldview, 2) self-consciousness, 3) self-reflection, 4) self-criticism, and 5) losing control.</em></p> Jarno Hietalahti Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 154 171 10.7592/EJHR2021.9.2.443 Book review: Davis, Susan G. (2019). Dirty Jokes and Bawdy Songs: The Uncensored Life of Gershon Legman. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. <p><em>Book review</em></p> Bernard Schweizer Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 172 173 Book review: Scheel, Tabea & Gockel, Christine (2017). Humour at Work in Teams, Leadership, Negotiations, Learning and Health. Cham: Springer. <p><em>Book review</em></p> Alberto Dionigi Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 174 176 Book review: Weitz, Eric (2016). Theatre and Laughter. London: Palgrave Macmillan Education. <p><em>Book review<strong><br /></strong></em></p> Vicky Manteli Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 177 179 Book review: Etty, John (2018). Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union. Krokodil’s Political Cartoons. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press. <p><em>Book review</em></p> Annie Gerin Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 180 183 Book review: Lindvall, Terry (2015). God Mocks: A History of Religious Satire from the Hebrew Prophets to Stephen Colbert. New York: New York University Press. <p><em>Book review</em></p> Lina Molokotos-Liederman Copyright (c) 2021 The European Journal of Humour Research 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 9 2 184 185