Although the past two decades have witnessed an increase in the publication of edited collections of essays that examine philosophies and linguistic functions of humour, there is currently no series of books dedicated to this important subject within a broader cultural context. Humour in Literature and Culture will demonstrate the important contribution that a focus on humour can make to a range of subjects within literary and cultural studies.


Reading humorously does not mean reading for laughs. It is a complex approach that reveals aspects of verbal, musical, and visual texts that other reading approaches cannot reveal. In this series we explore the complexity of humour through defining texts of Western culture, from Greek theatre to twentieth and twenty-first-century multi-media representations. 


Where earlier studies in humour and culture usefully contributed a sense of the variety of humour, this series offers detailed studies with the serious purpose of promoting future studies in this rewarding area of scholarship. 


The series harnesses expertise from international academia across a wide range of disciplines to examine the role of humour as cultural expression throughout history. The series is organised chronologically to enable readers to achieve a coherent sense of the development of humour up to the twenty-first century.


Humour will be analysed through its wide range of forms as well as its applications, from rebellion through to shaming, coercion and delight to reveal the manifold ways in which humour can reflect key aspects of cultural identity in any given society and age. 


The seven 130,000-word volumes, written in a clear and accessible style, will explore humour thoroughly and cohesively, distinguishing humour from its strategies and outcomes clearly so that it will become the definitive series in this subject area for generations of academics and students. 


In short, the series brings together expertise from across international academia 

in an effort to stimulate a much-needed debate about the dominant forms of humour through the ages, the various applications of humour, and the multiple means through which humour reflects key aspects of cultural identity. 

There is a growing awareness of the need to clean up our oceans, seas and shorelines. Images conveyed through our multi-media technologies of beaches cluttered with plastics, seas discoloured with pollutants, and oceans of creatures that are maimed or killed by the rubbish we pour into it are now beginning to get our attention, but more needs to be done.   


This series seeks to focus our attention on the importance of oceans, seas and shorelines to human culture as a means of increasing our respect towards, and responsibility for, these natural resources that have helped to forge human civilisation from its earliest beginnings to the present day. This series is the most thorough cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural treatment of the blue planet. 


Ten themed explorations of our oceanic heritage will be conducted by an international team of experts from across the arts and science disciplines.  The series will aim at demonstrating the role of the oceans, seas and shorelines throughout the history of human endeavour while considering the impact that human interactions have had on marine environments across millennia.


Through this thorough engagement with oceans, seas and shorelines it is expected that arts and science students will be alerted to further possibilities for researching this vast natural and cultural resource, thereby putting us all more in touch with the needs of the planet. 

This series invites university professors from across international academia with a notable publishing record to write about their mothers, and more specifically about their own mother and daughter relationship. 


For many mothers who were born in the first 50 years of the twentieth century, the experience of every aspect of life was vastly different from that of their daughters. For many of these mothers, education may have been minimal: sometimes because of the communities into which they were born, or because of the death of their own mothers and the expectation that they would henceforth assume the roles of housekeeper and carer, or because they were prompted to earn money for the family as soon as they were old enough. Their working lives were often highly unsatisfactory. Women were underpaid, lacked opportunities for promotion and were commonly deprived of their positions once they married. Their opportunities for self-fulfilment were meagre, their roles as mothers and wives pre-defined and their life-expectancy significantly lower. 


Our mothers battled through daily hindrances in their own unique ways as the world was changing rapidly around them. Sometimes they embraced change with a lively spirit, sometimes they would seem lost in the whirl of new freedoms, new opportunities, new technologies, all of which their daughters would come to expect, control and shape around their own lives.


Keeping Mum is a series that offers a reassessment of the life experiences of women who were also mothers throughout the twentieth century by the people who knew them best – their daughters. It is an invaluable social history, a collective work of memories that contributes to an understanding of our own roles in our own times.

The series encourages co-authored contributions from scholars who are working in the field of Animal Studies across the full range of academic disciplines. 


Animals, Appropriation and Conservation will provide a much-needed forum for addressing the most pressing issues affecting every aspect of animal life, from the impact of deforestation through to animal experimentation and domestic animal abuse. 


The texts in this series will be fundamentally important to science, business and arts programmes but will be written in an accessible style for the general interest reader. 


Our aim is to alert not just experts, but the wider public domain to the necessity of taking the plight of animals everywhere seriously so that they can help us to sustain the life of the planet.