List of humor research publications  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

This page lists publications in humor research, with brief annotations. The list includes books, scholarly journals that regularly cover articles in theory of humor, as well as some seminal, frequently cited journal articles about humor.

This list is not intended for humorous books that do not have any scholarly analysis of humor.


Early publications

  • Sigmund Freud: his 1905 book on jokes and unconscious has been translated in many languages, including several translations in English
    • "Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious", Translated by James Strachey, 1963, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0393001458
    • "The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious", Translated by Joyce Crick
  • Max Eastman
    • The Sense of Humor, New York:Scribners, 1921
    • The Enjoyment of Laughter, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1936


  • Arthur Asa Berger
    • "An Anatomy of Humor", 1993, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0765804948
    • "Blind Men and Elephants: Perspectives on Humor", 1995, Transaction Publishers
    • The Art of Comedy Writing, 1997, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 1560003243
  • Peter L. Berger (1997) Redeeming Laughter: The Comic Dimension of Human Experience, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3110155621
  • Francis H. Buckley (2003) "The Morality of Laughter", University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0472098187
  • Delia Chiaro (1992) The Language of Jokes: Analysing Verbal Play, Routledge, ISBN 0415030900
  • Cohen, Sarah Blacher (ed) (1992) Comic Relief: Humor in Contemporary American Literature, Detroit: Wayne State University Press
  • Lisa Colletta (2003) Dark Humor and Social Satire in the Modern British Novel, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 1403963657
  • Cohen, Ted (1999) Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226112306
  • Critchley, Simon (2002) On Humour, Routledge, ISBN 0415251214
  • Christie Davies (1998) Jokes and Their Relation to Society, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3110161044
  • Jessica Milner Davis (2002) Farce, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0765808870
  • Arthur Roy Eckardt (1995) How to Tell God from the Devil: On the Way to Comedy, Transaction Publishers,ISBN 1560001798
  • Evan Esar (2006) The Humor of Humor: The Art And Techniques of Popular Comedy, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 141280616X
  • Marc Galanter, "Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture", University of Wisconsin Press (September 1 2005) ISBN 0299213501
  • Gantar, Jure (2005) The Pleasure of Fools: Essays in the Ethics of Laughter, McGill-Queen's Press, ISBN 077352892X
  • Ingvild Saelid Gilhus (1997) Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins: Laughter in the History of Religion, Routledge, ISBN 0415161975
  • Rupert D. V. Glasgow (1995) Madness, Masks, and Laughter: An Essay on Comedy, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, ISBN 0838635598
  • J. C. Gregory (1999) The Nature of Laughter, Routledge, ISBN 0415211298
  • Charles R. Gruner
    • Understanding Laughter: The workings of Wit and Humor, Chicago: Nelson Hall
    • (1999) The Game of Humor: A Comprehensive Theory of Why We Laugh, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0765806592
  • Carl Hill (1993) The Soul of Wit: Joke Theory from Grimm to Freud, U of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803223692
  • Jan Hokenson (2006) The Idea of Comedy: History, Theory, Critique, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, ISBN 0838640966
  • Holland, N. (1982) Laughing: A psychology of humor, Cornell University Press
  • M. Conrad Hyers (1996) The Spirituality of Comedy: Comic Heroism in a Tragic World, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 1560002182
  • Koller, M.R. (1988) Humor and society: Explorations in the sociology of humor, Houston: Cap and Gown
  • Robert L. Latta (1999) The Basic Humor Process: A Cognitive-Shift Theory and the Case against Incongruity, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3110161036 (Humor Research no. 5)
  • Paul Lewis
    • Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict, The University of Chicago Press, 2006. ISBN 0-226-47699-5
    • Comic Effects: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Humor in Literature, State University of New York Press, 1989.
  • Dianna C. Niebylski (2004) Humoring resistance: laughter and the excessive body in contemporary Latin American women's fiction, SUNY Press, ISBN 0791461238
  • Elliott Oring
  • Jerry Palmer (1994) Taking Humour Seriously, Routledge, ISBN 0415102669
  • Robert R. Provine (2000) Laughter. A Scientific Investigation. Viking.
  • Leon Rappoport (2005) Punchlines: The Case for Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Humor, Praeger/Greenwood, ISBN 0275987647
  • Raskin, V. (1985). Semantic Mechanisms of Humor. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Pub. Co.
  • Mary Ann Rishel (2002) Writing Humor: Creativity and the Comic Mind, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0814329608
  • Graeme D. Ritchie (2004) The Linguistic Analysis of Jokes, Routledge, ISBN 0415309832
  • Roukes, Nicholas (2003) Artful Jesters: Innovators of Visual Wit and Humor, Ten Speed Press,ISBN 1580082661
  • Allan J. Ryan (1999) The Trickster Shift: Humour and Irony in Contemporary Native Art, UBC Press, ISBN 0774807040
  • Alison Ross (1998) The Language of Humour, Routledge, ISBN 0415169127
  • Willibald Ruch (1998) The Sense of Humor: Explorations of a Personality Characteristic, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3110162075
  • Barry Sanders (1995) Sudden Glory: Laughter as Subversive History, Beacon Press, ISBN 0807062057
  • Scott Cutler Shershow (1986) Laughing Matters: The Paradox of Comedy, Univ of Massachusetts Press, ISBN 0870235095
  • Paul Simpson (2003) On the Discourse of Satire: Towards a Stylistic Model of Satirical Humor, John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 9027233330
  • Andrew Stott (2005) Comedy, Routledge, ISBN 0415299330
  • Dean L. Yarwood (2004) When Congress Makes a Joke: Congressional Humor Then and Now, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0742530434

Applications of humor

  • Ronald A. Berk
    • (2002) Humor as an Instructional Defibrillator: Evidence-Based Techniques in teaching and assessment, Stylus Publishing, LLC, ISBN 1579220630
    • (2003) Professors Are from Mars, Students Are from Snickers: How to Write and , Stylus Publishing, LLC, ISBN 1579220703
  • Elcha Shain Buckman (1994) The Handbook of Humor: Clinical Applications in Psychotherapy, Krieger Publishing Company, ISBN 089464369X
  • Louis R. Franzina (2002) Kids Who Laugh: How to Develop Your Child's Sense of Humor, Square One Publishers, ISBN 0757000088
  • Amelia J. Klein (2003) Humor in Children's Lives: A Guidebook for Practioners, Praeger/Greenwood,ISBN 0897898923
  • Karen J. Kolberg, Diana Loomans (2002) The Laughing Classroom: Everyone's Guide to Teaching with Humor and Play, H J Kramer, ISBN 0915811995
  • Herbert M. Lefcourt (2001) Humor: The Psychology of Living Buoyantly, Springer, ISBN 0306464071
  • Lefcourt, H. M., & Martin, R. A. (1986). Humor and life stress: Antidote to adversity . New York: Springer/Verlag.
  • Paul E. McGhee (1989) Humor and Children's Development: A Guide to Practical Applications, Haworth Press, ISBN 0866566813
  • C. W. Metcalf, Roma Felible (1999) Lighten Up: Survival Skills for People Under Pressure, Basic Books, ISBN 0201622394

History of comedy and humor

  • R. Howard Bloch (1986) The Scandal of the Fabliaux, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226059758
  • Pamela Allen Brown (2003) Better a Shrew Than a Sheep: Women, Drama, and the Culture of Jest in Early Modern England, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0801488362, a review
  • Chris Holcomb (2001) Mirth Making: The Rhetorical Discourse on Jesting in Early Modern England, U of South Carolina Press, ISBN 1570033978
  • Brian Joseph Levy (2000) The Comic Text: Patterns and Images in the Old French Fabliaux, Rodopi, ISBN 9042004290 a review
  • Laurie O'Higgins (2003) Women and Humor in Classical Greece, Cambridge University Press,ISBN 052182253X
  • Lisa Renée Perfetti (2003) Women and Laughter in Medieval Comic Literature, University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0472113216
  • Manfred Pfister (2002)A History of English Laughter: Laughter from Beowulf to Beckett and Beyond, Rodopi, ISBN 9042012889
  • Robson, James (2006) Humour, Obscenity and Aristophanes, Gunter Narr Verlag, ISBN 3823362208
  • Mary Jane Stearns Schenck (1987) Fabliaux - Tales of Wit and Deception, John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 9027217343
  • Michael West (2000) America's Romantic Punsters and the Search for the Language of Nature, Ohio University Press, ISBN 0821413244
  • Alison Williams (2000) Tricksters and Pranksters: Roguery in French and German Literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Rodopi, ISBN 9042015128 a review

Ethnic humor

  • Christie Davies
    • (1990) Ethnic Humor Around the World: A Comparative Analysis, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0253316553
    • (2002) The Mirth of Nations, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0765800969
      • A social and historical study of jokes from the main English-speaking countries, which debates the existing theories of humor
  • Emil A. Draitser (1998) Taking Penguins to the Movies: Ethnic Humor in Russia, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0814323278
  • Template:De icon Karin Keding, Anika Struppert (2006) Ethno-comedy im deutschen Fernsehen: Inhaltsanalyse und Rezipientenbefragung zu "Was guckst du?!", Frank & Timme GmbH, ISBN 3865960847

Jewish comedy and humour

  • Altman, Sig (1971) Comic Image of the Jew: explorations of a pop culture phenomenon, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, ISBN 0838678696
  • Arthur Asa Berger (2006) The Genius of the Jewish Joke, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 1412805538
  • Cohen, Sarah Blacher (1991) Jewish Wry: Essays on Jewish Humor, Detroit: Wayne State University Press
  • Elliott Oring (1981) Israeli Humor: The Content and Structure of the Chizbat of the Palmah, SUNY Press, ISBN 0873955129
  • Richard Raskin (1992). Life Is Like a Glass of Tea. Studies of Classic Jewish Jokes. Aarhus University Press. ISBN 87-7288-409-6.
  • Avner Ziv (1998) Jewish Humor, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 1560009918
    • The book is derived from the First International Conference on Jewish Humor, Tel Aviv University.

Stand-up comedy

  • Joanne R. Gilbert (2004) Performing Marginality: Humor, Gender, and Cultural Critique, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0814328032
  • Hengen, Shannon Eileen (1998) Performing Gender and Comedy: Theories, Texts and Contexts, Routledge, ISBN 9056995405
  • Suzanne Lavin (2004) Women and Comedy in Solo Performance: Phyllis Diller, Lily Tomlin, and Roseanne, Routledge, ISBN 0415948584
  • John Limon (2000) Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, Or, Abjection in America, Duke University Press, ISBN 0822325462

Collections of scientific works on humor

  • J.H. Goldstein and P.E. McGhee (Eds), The Psychology of Humor: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Issues, New York: Academic Press, 1972
  • A.J. Chapman and H.C. Foot, (Eds.),
    • Humor and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications,
      • London: John Wiley and Sons, 1976
      • Transaction Publishers. 1996.
    • It's a Funny Thing, Humour Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, 1977
  • J. Bremmer and H. Roodenburg, (Eds.), A Cultural History of Humor, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1997
  • McGhee, P.E., and Goldstein, J.H. (Eds), Handbook of Humor Research , New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983
  • “Humor and Society: Explorations in the Sociology of Humor.” Houston. 1988.
  • John Parkin (Ed.)(1999) French Humour: Papers Based on a Colloquium Held in the French Department of the University of Bristol, November 30th 1996, Rodopi, ISBN 9042005866
  • Paton, G.E.C., Powell, C., Wagg, S. (Eds) THe Social Faces of Humour: Practices and Issues, Aldershot, England: Arena

Journals and book series

Articles on theory of humor

  • Joseph Polimeni, Jeffrey P. Reiss, The First Joke: Exploring the Evolutionary Origins of Humor, Evolutionary Psychology, 2006. 4: 347-366.
    • According to the authors, the article reviews the major cultural and evolutionary theories of humor, as well as some other topics potentially helpful for uderstanding the origins of humor.

Articles about laugh in animals

  • Simonet, P.R., Murphy, M., and Lance, A. (2001). Laughing dog: Vocalizations of domestic dogs during play encounters. Animal Behavior Society Conference. Corvallis, Oregon, 14-18 July 2001.
  • Panksepp, J., and Burgdorf, J. (2003). “Laughing” rats and the evolutionary antecedents of human joy? Physiology and Behavior, 79, 533-547.

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