Infectious Laughter: From Comic Zombies to Joker Science - A seminar on Humour and Contagious Diseases in Popular Entertainment

27 May 2021

Time: 4:30 to 6:00pm

This seminar will explore cultural interpretations of epidemiology and virology, focusing on comic cultural imaginaries of pandemics. Asking what comic scenarios of infectious diseases look like in different media, speakers will discuss comic zombiism in film, clown viruses in Joker comics and COVID-19 jokes on the internet. What can we learn from comic zombies and the Joker – the ultimate Clown Prince of Crime in the DC Universe – about infectious diseases? What do viral jokes about pandemics in popular communication that explicitly refer to these pop cultural phenomena teach us about our understanding of the spread of diseases? And in what way is the spread of humour comparable to the spread of viruses?

Speakers: Dr Anastasiya Fiadotava (Humour Studies & Comparative Folklore, Estonian Literary Museum, Estonia), Dr John Noel Viaña (CPAS, ANU) and Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens (CPAS, ANU)

Photo by Jürgen Bürgin -

Please register via Zoom.

27 May, 4:30pm.

Via Zoom - see registration link.


Anna-Sophie Jurgens