Editor’s Chair: Humor Studies News

Tracy Wuster

Editor’s note:  Remember to check out the “Announcements” section above for updated CFP and other news of note.

I have been out of town a lot recently, so please excuse any irregular timing of posts.  But now I am back, gainfully employed, and ready for you to submit a post to publish here on “Humor in America.”  On what subject, you ask?  Well, if you would read the “Write for Us” section, you would find this:

Humor in America”  is a blog dedicated to the discussion of humor and humor studies in America.   Contributors are welcome to submit on any aspect of American Humor, broadly considered, although submissions are not guaranteed to be published.

We are interested in short articles (300-3000 words) focused on (but not limited to) the following areas:

*pedagogy of humor, including syllabi

*theory of humor

*recovery of sources/authors

*genre studies

*interviews with comedians, humor scholars, or other figures

*focused musings, thoughts, or polemics

*humorous writing

*responses to humor in popular culture, academic research, or any other venue that seems fertile

*movies/book reviews (apart from recent scholarly works)

But the main answer is, we are looking for good writing on humor.  If you have something you are thinking about, email me (Tracy) at wustert@gmail.com.

***Join us on Twitter: @HumorInAmerica.  We post all our new posts along with important articles and thoughts on humor and humor studies.

In other news in the world of Humor Studies:

***The American Humor Studies Association has a new website.  Soon, the name of the website will be “americanhumor.org,” but that switch has not taken place yet.  The site includes history, membership information, links to past conference panels, and other information.  If you have any comments, suggestions, additions, or concerns, please email the webmaster: Tracy Wuster (wustert@gmail.com).

American Humor Studies Association

***The AHSA web platform also includes a new site for “Studies in American Humor”: studiesinamericanhumor.org.  The website includes Table of Contents for Series 3 of the journal, from 1994-Present.  If you have TOC’s from Series 1 or 2 that you could send us as a text file or pdf, we would greatly appreciate it.  The AHSA also has a Facebook page.

***Speaking of Facebook, are you a fan of our page, or of the Mark Twain Circle of America.

***Speaking of Mark Twain, the Mark Twain Project is hiring.

***The Center for Mark Twain Studies has sent out information on next summer’s conference.  I know that many who attended the previous conference would testify that it was the best conference ever.  See our post on Hal Holbrook for video/audio of Mr. Holbrook telling stories on the site of Mark Twain’s study.  Here is the announcement:

We are just a year away from Elmira 2013: The Seventh International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies.  The Call for Papers has been posted on the web.  Google Elmira 2013 Call for Papers for information about submitting a Developed Abstract of 700 words — due Monday, February 4th, 2013.  Final papers must be suitable for a 20-minute presentation.  Please send your attached abstract, via electronic submission, to bsnedecor@elmira.edu.  Provide your name, mailing address, and email address.  Developed abstracts will be reviewed anonymously for acceptance by selected panel chairs.

We look forward to greeting you in Elmira on August 1 through 4, 2013.

***For more CFPs, please see our announcement section, or the conference announcement page of the AHSA webpage.  And since I am in charge of both, you can send me announcements and take care of both places.

***Birthdays below

***Happy Birthday last week to Steve Martin and Gary Larson, two wild and crazy guys.

Steve Martin cat

Gary Larson anthropologists far side anthropology

***And today to Ogden Nash.  In honor of the end of summer, a verse:

Pretty Halcyon Days
How pleasant to sit on the beach, 
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun, 
With ocean galore within reach, 
And nothing at all to be done! 
No letters to answer, 
No bills to be burned, 
No work to be shirked, 
No cash to be earned. 
It is pleasant to sit on the beach 
With nothing at all to be done. 

How pleasant to look at the ocean, 
Democratic and damp; indiscriminate; 
It fills me with noble emotion 
To think I am able to swim in it. 
To lave in the wave, 
Majestic and chilly, 
Tomorrow I crave; 
But today it is silly. 
It is pleasant to look at the ocean; 
Tomorrow, perhaps, I shall swim in it. 

How pleasant to gaze at the sailors, 
As their sailboats they manfully sail 
With the vigor of vikings and whalers 
In the days of the viking and whale. 
They sport on the brink 
Of the shad and the shark; 
If it’s windy they sink; 
If it isn’t, they park. 
It is pleasant to gaze at the sailors, 
To gaze without having to sail. 

How pleasant the salt anaesthetic 
Of the air and the sand and the sun; 
Leave the earth to the strong and athletic, 
And the sea to adventure upon. 
But the sun and the sand 
No contractor can copy; 
We lie in the land 
Of the lotus and poppy; 
We vegetate, calm and aesthetic, 
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun.

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