Australasian Humour Studies Network

Review Panel

Members of the AHSN Review Panel

Psychology and Health

  • Dr Angus McLachlan (Chair of Review Panel)
    Psychology (Honorary), Federation University Australia
  • Dr Bruce Findlay
    Psychology (Honorary), Swinburne University of Technology
  • Dr David Rawlings
    Psychology (Honorary), University of Melbourne

Social Sciences and History

  • Emeritus Scientia Professor Conal Condren FAHA FASSA
    Institute of Advanced Research in the Humanities, University of Queensland
  • Dr Mark Rolfe
    Social Science & International Studies (Honorary), University of New South Wales


  • Dr Debra Aarons
    Linguistics, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Michael Haugh FAHA
    Linguistics, University of Queensland
  • Associate Professor Kerry Mullan
    Global and Language Studies, RMIT University

Literature and Humanities

  • Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans FAHA
    Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle
  • Associate Professor Peter Kirkpatrick
    English, University of Sydney
  • Professor Robert Phiddian
    Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University

Media and Cultural Studies

  • Dr Nicholas Holm
    English and Media Studies, Massey University
  • Dr Michael Lloyd
    Social & Cultural Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Jessica Milner Davis FRSN (AHSN Convenor)
    Literature, Art & Media (Honorary), University of Sydney
  • Professor Craig Batty
    Creative Writing, University of Technology Sydney

Visual Art and Practice

  • Mr Lindsay Foyle
    Cartoonist and Cartoon historian
  • Associate Professor Richard Scully
    Modern European History, University of New England
  • Dr Lucien Leon
    School of Art and Design, Australian National University


Angus McLachlan

Angus McLachlan, now retired from Federation University Australia where he taught psychology for some thirty years, continues to potter along the academic highways and byways of laughter and humour, as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow. He is still convinced that tickling is the means by which laughter becomes part of talk, from which all forms of humour develop. In an effort not to get too carried away by his grand theory, he has joined the Victorian CFA as a volunteer firefighter.

Bruce Findlay

Bruce Findlay taught psychology at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne for 25 years, and continues as an Adjunct Teaching Fellow. His main research interests were human relationships and humour, primarily sense of humour and its effects on family and work relationships and on psychological well-being. He has been associated with the AHSN for 20 years, was the Inaugural Chair of the Review Panel, and is proud to have been made an inaugural Fellow of the AHSN Jess-ters in 2018.

David Rawlings

David Rawlings is currently an (honorary) Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, having retired following a career in academic psychology, mostly at that institution. His relevant qualifications include a doctoral degree in psychology (from Oxford University), and Masters’ degrees in psychology (Flinders), education (Melbourne), and theology (University of Divinity, Melbourne). His major research interests concern the relationships between personality and humour, creativity, aesthetic preference, and religious belief and practice, and the interface between normal and abnormal personality.

Conal Condren

Conal Condren, FAHA, FAASA is Emeritus Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland, and a member of Churchill College, Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He has written nine books, the most recent of which is Political Vocabularies (2017), and published over ninety other works. He is currently completing a book of essays on humour, laughter and satire.

Mark Rolfe

Mark Rolfe is an honorary associate in the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, where he taught for a long time, and is keenly interested in Australian politics, rhetoric, propaganda, political satire, American politics, and political leadership. His recent publications include: ‘Is this a Dagg which I see before me? John Clarke and the politics in his political humour’, in The Journal of Comedy Studies (2019); ‘The Populist Elements of Australian Political Satire and the Debt to the Americans and the Augustans’, in Satire and Politics The Interplay of Heritage and Practice (2017); The Reinvention of Populist Rhetoric in the Digital Age (2016).

Debra Aarons

Debra Aarons is a linguist at the University of New South Wales. She works primarily on pragmatics, with specific research interests in comedy, taboo humour and the tacit linguistic knowledge underlying the understanding of jokes that play on aspects of language. Her publications include “Jokes and the Linguistic Mind” (2011) and various articles co-written with Marc Mierowsky exploring notions of dirtiness, specifically in Jewish comedy. She is currently working with researchers from the University of Bologna on a project about disgust.

Michael Haugh

Michael Haugh is Professor of Linguistics in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland. His research interests include pragmatics, conversation analysis, intercultural communication and humour studies, with a particular focus on the role of language in social interaction.

Kerry Mullan

Kerry Mullan is Convenor of Languages at RMIT University in Melbourne. She teaches French and introductory linguistics. Her main research interests are cross-cultural pragmatics, discourse analysis, language pedagogy, and verbal humour in social and online interactions (particularly French and Australian).

Michael Ewans

Michael Ewans, FAHA, is Conjoint Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Before retiring from the Chair of Drama in 2011 he specialized in directing plays and chamber operas, translating Greek tragedy and comedy for performance, and publishing these translations with theatrical commentaries, and he continues to write books and articles which explore how operas and dramas work in the theatre. He has also explored the reception of Greek tragedy and the epic.

Peter Kirkpatrick

Peter Kirkpatrick teaches in the English Department of the University of Sydney. He publishes widely in Australian literary studies, and with Fran De Groen was co-editor of Serious Frolic: Essays on Australian Humour (2009). He is currently working on a study of Australian poetry and popular culture.

Robert Phiddian

Robert Phiddian teaches in Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century literature and has a special interest in political satire, parody, and humour. He researches political satire, especially current Australian political cartoons with Haydon Manning. He has been Chair of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Director of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC), and a Board member of the Australian Book Review and of the international Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI). Most recently he is the author of Satire and the Public Emotions (Cambridge UP, 2019) and co-author (with Julian Meyrick and Tully Barnett) of What Matters?: Talking Value in Australian Culture (Monash UP, 2018).

Nicholas Holm

Nicholas Holm is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Massey University, New Zealand. His research addresses the politics of popular culture with particular emphasis on humour and satire. He is the author of Humour as Politics (2017), and several articles on the politics of humour in contemporary media. He is a member of the editorial board of Comedy Studies.

Mike Lloyd

Mike Lloyd is a sociologist at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is particularly interested in the study of the fine detail of social interactions that accomplish humour. Key studies have been of: categorisation in a risqué cartoon caption competition; embodied gestures in a photo caption competition; the local order of standup comedy; and the utility of Erving Goffman for humour analysis. He was the main organiser of the 2014 annual conference of the AHSN, the first to be held in New Zealand, and has articles published in key journals including Humor, and the European Journal of Humour Research.

Jessica Milner Davis

Jessica Milner Davis PhD, FRSN is a member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, UK, and an honorary research associate at the University of Sydney as well as at Brunel University’s Centre for Comedy Studies Research. Twice president of the International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS), she coordinates the Australasian Humour Studies Network. Her books deal with farce, satire, cross-cultural studies of humour in Australia, the UK, Japan and China, and aspects of the comic tradition in European theatre. In 2018, she received the ISHS Lifetime Achievement Award for her interdisciplinary research in humour studies and was made an inaugural Fellow of the AHSN Jess-ters. She is currently preparing (with Daniel Kadar) a special issue of Journal of East Asian Pragmatics on humour in Japanese, Korean and Chinese languages.

Craig Batty

Craig Batty is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney. He is the author, co-author and editor of 11 books, including Writing for the Screen: Creative and Critical Approaches (2nd ed.) (2019), Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry (2018) and Screenwriters and Screenwriting: Putting Practice into Context (2014). He has also published over 60 book chapters and journals articles on the topics of screenwriting practice, screenwriting theory, creative practice research and doctoral supervision. Craig is also a screenwriter and script consultant, with experiences in short film, feature film, television and online drama.

Lindsay Foyle

Lindsay Foyle has worked for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, The Bulletin, Australian Business Monthly (ABM) and The Australian. Freelancing now allows time to pursue the history of Australian cartooning and exhibit paintings and cartoons—he was a finalist in the 2008 John Glover Prize. Lindsay helped establish the Stanley Awards for Australian cartooning and was President of the Black and White Artists Club from 1994-7 and in 2000. In 1992, Lindsay received a Silver Stanley for contribution to black and white art. He is a member of the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance Federal Council. With Jessica Milner Davis, he contributed a chapter “The Satirist, the Larrikin and the Politician: An Australian Perspective on Satire and Politics” to Satire and Politics: The Interplay of Heritage and Practice. (2017). Foyle published his first book of cartoons, ‘Can I have a receipt?’ in 2019. It will also probably be his last.

Richard Scully

Richard Scully, FRHistS, is Associate Professor in Modern European History at the UNE (Armidale, Australia). Richard has maintained a deep interest in the history and development of political cartoons and graphic satire throughout his career. Author of Eminent Victorian Cartoonists (2018) and British Images of Germany: Admiration, Antagonism & Ambivalence, 1860-1914 (2012), he has served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Comic Art and the comité de lecture of Ridiculosa since 2013. Richard has also co-edited Drawing the Line: Using Cartoons as Historical Evidence (2009) with Marian Quartly; and Comic Empires: Imperialism in Cartoons, Caricature, and Sarirical Art (2020) with Andrekos Varnava. His work has appeared in German Studies Review, the Journal of Victorian Culture, European Comic Art, and Victorian Periodicals Review.

Lucien Leon

Lucien Leon lectures in Animation and Video at the Australian National University’s School of Art and Design. He is interested in the impact of the digital media revolution on the political cartooning tradition, and online political satire more broadly. His political animations have been published in a variety of broadcast and online contexts, while his recent publications include ‘Plus Ça Change: Three Decades of Clarke and Dawe’s Political Satire (1987-2017)’, in the Journal of Comedy Studies (2019); ‘Walt Handelsman’ in American Political Humor: Masters of Satire and Their Impact on U.S. Policy and Culture (2019) and ‘Cartoons, Memes and Videos in Election 2019’, Morrison’s Miracle: Analysing the 2019 Australian Federal Election (ASSA, in press).