A Seminar for the Australasian Humour Studies Network

Humour Studies in France : The Situation and Some Perspectives / Les « Humour Studies » en France : un point de vue et quelques réflexions (presented in English, discussion in French and English)

Presented by Dr Yen-Mai Tran-Gervat, Département de Littérature Générale et Comparée (LGC), Centre d'Études et de Recherches Comparatistes (CERC), Université de Paris – 3

5.00-6.30PM WEDNESDAY 24 AUGUST 2016
Hosted by the DEPT OF FRENCH STUDIES, University of Sydney, in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) Common Room 536, Brennan MacCallum Building, Main Campus.

Directions: Brennan MacCallum is Building A18 on the main University of Sydney campus at the rear of the Main Quad. The easiest access is the ground floor door facing the Manning Building; inside, turn left and take the lift to the 5th floor. Campus parking is available eg. basement of the Law School (access off either City Road or Parammatta Road), but payment is required if parking before 6.00pm.

Humour Studies in France : The Situation and Some Perspectives
Cultural Studies in general have only recently been acknowledged as a legitimate research field in France. In 2007, a conference of the French Comparative Literature Association (SFLGC) assessed the situation: its proceedings were published in 2010 (Etudes culturelles : anthropologie culturelle et comparatisme, Éditions du Murmure). More recently, a call for proposals has been circulated, inviting papers on « les studies », using the English word which shows that such a thematic and interdisciplinary grouping of topics has not yet been completely adopted within the French academic tradition. However, the situation is not homogenous: postcolonial and gender studies are now firmly established in France while humour studies is not. This is not only because it is still identified as “studies” (i.e. organised according to a foreign tradition as opposed to homegrown études), but also because of its objects: humour and comedy are usually considered far removed from the seriousness expected of a researcher. Nevertheless, there are French researchers who do work on humour: does this mean that humour studies does in fact exist in France, or perhaps that the discipline simply requires to be organised as such?

Bionote: Yen-Mai Tran-Gervat is Associate Professor (Maître de conférences) in Comparative Literature at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Her research interests lie in Humour Studies and in Translation Studies – specifically, in parody and burlesque in early modern English, French and Spanish prose fiction – as well as in the history of translations of humorous literature into French. Most recently, she has co-edited the 17th and 18th centuries volume of the Histoire des traductions en langue française (Y. Chevrel and J-Y Masson, gen. eds.), Verdier, 2014.

ENQUIRIES: Please contact AHSN Co-ordinator, Dr Jessica Davis, at: if you would like to attend.



The 23rd AHSN Conference will take place 1-3 February 2017 at the School of Mines Ballarat (SMB) campus of Federation University Australia. The conference will be convened by Dr Angus McLachlan, School of Health Sciences and Psychology, Federation University.

Proposals are welcome for papers from the broad range of humour studies, from those that bear on historical, cultural, and political aspects, through those that pertain to social and psychological features, to those that emerge from sociolinguistic and pragmatic analyses. Humour studies ranges across many disciplines and this conference works to foster dialogue between adherents to all specialisations.

The Conference theme is “Humour: Here and There; Then and Now”. This is intended to recognise that when differing cultures collide-as occurred in Ballarat during its foundation in 1837 and the gold rush era of the 1850s-there is often both tragedy and humour. Papers that fall outside the theme are also welcome.

Post-graduate and honours students researching humour-related topics are specially invited to present on their work-in-progress, and there will be scholarships to assist student attendance. It is also hoped to continue the recent tradition of inviting Keynotes Speakers to address the conference.


TO SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL via the Conference Submission and Review website, please follow the sidebar bar to "23rd AHSN Proposal Submission"



For more information on the Venue and on Travel and Accommodation Options, please follow the sidebar link on this page, Conference Information.

NB: If you are thinking of coming to the Conference, you should BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN BALLARAT EARLY. While there is ample, many of the better priced rooms will be booked well in advance, particularly towards the end of the conference week when there are several other 2017 events being held in Ballarat.

For general enquiries about the conference, please email Angus at: