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Centres and institutes_

Australasian Humour Studies Network

Working together to explore the big questions: What are humour and laughter?
Humour is intangible, so how do we understand it? The Australasian Humour Studies Network connects multidisciplinary scholars and practitioners to achieve insights into this complex aspect of human behaviour.

We support scholars researching humour-related topics by offering a program of annual conferences and other resources, including links to the International Society for Humor Studies.

Our focus is on emerging research into humour and laughter and promoting links between humour scholars in different academic departments and geographical locations.

Our network has grown from 40 members across 10 different disciplines at our first conference in 1997 to more than 350 members by our 24th Annual Conference in 2018. Our members are primarily based in Australia and New Zealand, but also come from South-East Asia and elsewhere.

Our Work

“Humour at Work: Applications, Industries and Economies”
Massey University, Wellington Campus, Aotearoa New Zealand

Close of Call and Update on Registration

Owing to ongoing travel restrictions in response to the global pandemic, the organising committee for the 2021 AHSN conference has decided to split the conference into two interconnected events:

  • The first will be a two-day only physical meeting open to delegates resident in New Zealand
  • The second will be an online event for Australian and international delegates

The Call for papers has now closed. The 2021 AHSN conference will explore the industrial and economic aspects of humour, including but not limited to:

  • The political economics of comedy production and distribution
  • Joking about business and work
  • Humour’s relationship to wider political economic contexts
  • Applications of humour in workplace settings
  • Comedy as art, business and vocation
  • The professionalisation of comedy
  • The role of humour in workplace cultures
  • Comedy industries and technologies

For more details and information about registration, please visit the 27th AHSN Conference webpage or email the Conference Committee (

Important dates

Close of general submissions: 9 October 2020
Notifications of acceptance: 31 October 2020
Registration will open after acceptances are finalised

Conference Organisers

Massey University: Nicholas Holm, Bryce Galloway
Victoria University of Wellington: Meredith Marra, Stephen Skalicky


  • Dr Debra Aarons, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Michael Haugh FAHA, University of Queensland
  • Associate Professor Kerry Mullan, RMIT University

Literature and Humanities

  • Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans FAHA, University of Newcastle
  • Associate Professor Peter Kirkpatrick, University of Sydney
  • Professor Robert Phiddian, Flinders University

Media and Cultural Studies

  • Professor Craig Batty, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Nicholas Holm, Massey University, Wellington
  • Dr Michael Lloyd, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Jessica Milner Davis FRSN, University of Sydney

Psychology and Health

  • Dr Bruce Findlay, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Dr Angus McLachlan, Federation University Australia (Chair)
  • Dr David Rawlings, University of Melbourne

Social Sciences and History

  • Emeritus Scientia Professor Conal Condren FAHA FASSA, University of Queensland
  • Dr Mark Rolfe, University of New South Wales

Visual Art and Practice

  • Mr Lindsay Foyle, Cartoonist and Cartoon historian
  • Dr Lucien Leon, Australian National University
  • Associate Professor Richard Scully, University of New England


View some past editions of our Humour Studies Digest. You can also subscribe here to receive the newsletter.