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Hannah Baldwin


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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Humour Studies

    Ancient and Modern Humour Theory




    Research interests (continued)

    Doctoral Research

    My thesis develops a framework to specifically address humour in ancient literature. This framework is developed from modern theories of humour drawn from many disciplines (psychology, anthropology, literary studies, cross-cultural analysis) and addresses multiple facets of humour: the cognitive processing of humour (how jokes "work"), the effects on individuals both as target and joker, as well as social and interpersonal dynamics. These elements have traditionally been separated, but can more helpfully be synthesised into a more holistic view of humour as a phenomenon.

    To develop and test my framework, I selected three texts of varying length and format - the Philogelos jokebook, Martial's epigrams and Lucian's Icaromenippus. This range of examples provides an opportunity to scale up from individual jokes to full-scale narrative and also enables greater flexibility of focus (for example, on questions of how the presence of an author within a text impacts the use or effects of humour).



    “Dissecting the Frog: Current Humour Theory and the Philogelosat Verbal humour in Ancient Greece: Jokes, Puns, and Double Entendres (October 2017).

    "Was it you who died, or your brother?" plenary at the 30th International Society for Humor Studies Conference (June 2018).

    "How to Win Over Your Audience and Ridicule People: Martial and Social Climbers" at Audience Response in Ancient Greek and Latin Literature (September 2022).


    "Was it you who died, or your brother?" Humor: International Journal of Humor Research special issue "Festschrift for Christie Davies" May 2019.

    Personal profile


    2016-2021: PhD Classics                   Royal Holloway: University of London. Supervised by Dr Nick Lowe.

    2015-2016: MA Classics                         Royal Holloway: University of London.

    2012-2015: BA Classics (hons)                Royal Holloway: University of London.


    Scholarships and Awards

    2021: Royal Holloway Postgraduate Teaching Award

    2018: Christie Davies Award from the International Society of Humor Studies

    2016: Royal Holloway PhD Scholarship

    2015: D.A. Slater Prize for Latin.

    2014: J.M. McGregor Prize

    2013: Florence Hopkins Memorial Prize


    Office/Consultation Hours: Wednesdays 10-11 (online only) & Fridays 11-12 (in person).

    Roman Literature of the Empire (Seminars, 2017-2018)

    Introduction to Greek Literature (Seminars, 2017-2018; 2019-2020)

    Beginners Latin (2017-2018; 2018-2019; 2019-2020; 2020-2021; 2022-2023)

    Beginners Greek (2022-2023)

    Intermediate Greek (2022-2023)

    Education/Academic qualification

    Classics, PhD, Royal Holloway, University of London

    Award Date: 1 Jan 2022


    • Classical Greek language
    • Classical Greek literature
    • Latin language
    • Latin literature
    • Classical Greek studies not elsewhere classified
    • Greek humour
    • ancient humour
    • Latin humour
    • Roman humour
    • humour theory