A Tentative Evaluation of the Spread of Humour Studies
Among Journals in Other Domains
Ephraim Nissan *
There exist bibliographies from the 1990s of humour studies, in book form or posted online. What this essay attempts to do is to consider a large sample of the bibliography of the domain, and assess the spread among a vast range of journals from several disciplines. Being a sample, our own bibliography is not exhaustive, but it nevertheless contains much material that had not come to the attention of earlier bibliographers. It is up to date to 2011, and it is limited to publications in journals only. Moreover, such publications are excluded that appeared in any of the journals specialised solely in humour studies. The distillation in the form of a list of journals organised chronologically is interesting. It shows that humour studies are a big domain, and one that is far-flung; it also suggests that mutual visibility in this discipline is limited. Articles about humour turn out in surprising outlets, such as a journal of children dentistry, or a journal in the history of pharmaceutics, or Fertility and Sterility,
or Public Administration Review
, or a journal of parliamentary history, or a law journal. This essay is a discursive, qualitative, sampling probe into the seawide literature of the sector, rather than quantitative study as would be expected in bibliometrics. Arguably the present format subserves the goal of conveying a good idea of the size and variety of the domain.
* Ephraim Nissan, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths’ College, London & Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Manchester, England, United Kingdom.