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Hannah Baldwin


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Personal profile

Research interests

Humour Studies

Ancient and Modern Humour Theory




Research interests (continued)

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).


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

Beginners Latin (2017-2021; 2022-2024)

Beginners Greek (2022-2024)

Intermediate Greek (2022-2024)

Roman Literature of the Empire (2017-2018)

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

Education/Academic qualification

Classics, PhD, Contemporary Humour Theory and Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2022

Classics, MA Classics (Distinction), Dissertation Title: Humour in Lucian, Royal Holloway, University of London


Classics, BA Classics (Hons, First), Dissertation Title: Humour in Homer, Royal Holloway, University of London



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