Dr Hannah Baldwin

Supervised by

  • Nick Lowe First/primary/lead supervisor

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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).



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



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)

Personal profile


2016-2021: PhD Classics                   Royal Holloway: University of London.

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

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