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CFA: BSA Synergy Conference How To Do Things With Jokes

University of Kent, Canterbury, 25-27 October 2019
Deadline for Abstracts 1 June

The organising committee of the BSA Synergy Conference How to Do Things With Jokes seek high quality abstracts for presentations in our open sessions. The conference will be held at the University of Kent, at our Canterbury campus, from the 25-27 October 2019.

The theme of the conference is philosophy and comedy. We have broad horizons; presentations are encouraged from professional philosophers and from comedy practitioners alike. We detail some of our questions below, but what we care about more than anything else is bringing philosophical reflection into contact with artistic practice to see what insights each can offer the other.

Here are some questions for starters:
How do we strengthen and subvert various stereotypes with humour and jokes? How do we create ‘in’ and ‘out’ groups? How can we divide with jokes and how can we use them to bridge divides?
How are audiences created? What is an audience?
How do we satirise, and how is this different from other forms of humour?
What role exactly do jokes and humour have in a meaningful life? How necessary are jokes to play? How central is humour to creativity?
How exactly do humour and jokes help us cope with serious matters – grief, loneliness, despair? What is the attraction of gallows humour? How important are venting and swearing?
Humour and jokes can be short-lived and long-lived. How exactly does humour help to lubricate social situations, and how much does context in the moment matter?
What sort of persona are created with humour, and how do jokes and humour help?

The following keynote speakers are confirmed:
Luvell Anderson, Syracuse
Julian Baggini, independent writer, Honorary Research Fellow, Kent
Noel Carroll, CUNY
Robin Ince, comedy writer and performer
Lucy O’Brien, UCL
Rebecca Roache, Royal Holloway
Andy White, comedy writer and performer
Fiona Woollard, Southampton

Open sessions can take the form of more traditional, practical workshops, or other formats that explore the theme of comedy and philosophy. Please submit an abstract of 200-300 words, indicating the format of the session you propose, with any identifying information removed from the abstract and send to philosophyandcomedy@kent.ac.uk by 1 June 2019.
Submissions should be accompanied by a cover sheet, attached as a separate file and should include the author(s) name(s), email(s), institutional affiliation(s), and the title of the abstract.
The organisers are eager to assemble a diverse programme. To aid in this, if you are a comedy practitioner and would consider being part of a panel in conversation led by a philosopher, please include this information in your cover sheet. Both files should be in .pdf or .doc format.
There is a limit of one submission per author.
Submission deadline: 1 June 2019
Notification of acceptance: 1 July 2019
Date of conference: 25-27 October 2019
Contact: philosophyandcomedy@kent.ac.uk
The conference will take place during the Canterbury Festival and accommodation may become booked up well in advance of the conference, so we encourage you to book early.
We are signatories of the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme, and embed these guidelines in our practices. We are grateful to the British Society of Aesthetics for funding this conference.
Organisers: Simon Kirchin, Graeme A Forbes, Shaun May, Sophie Quirk