Category Archives: CFP

Call for Papers: “Is American Satire Still in a Postmodern Condition?” 

Special issue on contemporary satire for Studies in American Humor (Fall 2016), James E. Caron(University of Hawaii—Manoa), Guest Editor; Judith Yaross Lee (Ohio University, Editor).
In response to the torrent of satiric materials that has been and continues to be produced in recent years, Studies in American Humor invites proposals for 20-page essays using the rubric of “the postmodern condition” as an analytical gambit for demarcating a poetics of American comic art forms that use ridicule to enable critique and promote the possibility of social change. Proposals might focus on aspects of the following issues.

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What problems are associated with defining satire as a comic mode, and how do recent examples fit into such debates? How useful is the term postmodern to characterize satire—i.e. does it refer to a period or an operation? How useful for understanding recent and contemporary satire are terms designed to indicate we have moved into something other than postmodernism: e.g. trans- or post-humanism, cosmodernism, digimodernism, post-theory? In accounts of satire as a mode of comic presentation of social issues, what differences arise from varied technologies andplatforms, not just print but also TV sitcoms (live-action or animated), movies, comic strips, stand-up formats, or the sit-down presentation of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert? Do significant differences emerge from satires on YouTube (or the video-sharing service, Vines) and various Internet sites (e.g., Funny or Die) and social media? If ridicule, broadly speaking, is the engine of satiric critique, what ethical concerns are entailed in its use?

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Various disciplinary perspectives and methods are welcome. StAH values new transnational and interdisciplinary approaches as well as traditional critical and historical humanities scholarship. Submit proposals of 500-750 words to StAH’s editorial portal <http://www.editorialmanager.com/sah/> by June 15, 2015, for full consideration. Authors will be notified of the editors’ decisions in early July.  Completed essays will be due by January 15, 2016.   For complete information on Studies in American Humor and full submission guidelines see <http://studiesinamericanhumor.org/ >.  At the time of publication all authors are expected to be members of the American Humor Studies Association, which began publishing StAH (now produced in association with the Penn State University Press) in 1974. Queries may be addressed to the editors at <studiesinamericanhumor@ohio.edu>.

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Editor’s Chair: Looking for New Contributing Editor and a Short-Term Poetry Editor(plus News & Conference CFPs from the AHSA!)

Tracy Wuster

 

We here at Humor in America are looking to fill two posts: a Contributing Editor to write for us on a regular basis and a short-term Poetry Editor to write for 2-3 months.  The Contributing Editor would write once every eight weeks on a topic of their choosing–some editors like having a topic (i.e. “music,” “poetry,” “comics,” etc.) and some prefer winging it on whatever subject seems topical to them (i.e. Brian Williams, Hal Holbrooktelevision shows, risky humor, or Charlie Hebdo…and here and here).  In the short term, we are looking for someone to write two or three posts on poetry for the next few months while our poetry editor is on leave.  Any humorous poetry is fine–from any period.  The first post could go as early as Friday or Saturday, then once per month after that.

If you are interested in either of these, please let me know at wustert@gmail.com

*In other humor studies news, the American Humor Studies Association has a new website design, as does their journal Studies in American Humor.  I designed them both. Kudos will be accepted; critiques pondered.


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*On those sites you will find exciting opportunities, such as the ability to purchase the newest special issue of Studies:“MAD MAGAZINE AND ITS LEGACIES” (click for Table of Contents).  The cost is $20 for the issue, or a discount of $18 when you join the AHSA for this year.

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*Speaking of special issues, on the journal page you will find a list of all past and upcoming special issues, including the call for papers for an upcoming issue:

Call for Papers: “Is American Satire Still in a Postmodern Condition?”

Special issue on contemporary satire for Studies in American Humor (Fall 2016), James E. Caron (University of Hawaii—Manoa), Guest Editor; Judith Yaross Lee (Ohio University, Editor).

In response to the torrent of satiric materials that has been and continues to be produced in recent years, Studies in American Humor invites proposals for 20-page essays using the rubric of “the postmodern condition” as an analytical gambit for demarcating a poetics of American comic art forms that use ridicule to enable critique and promote the possibility of social change.  See link for more.

*Also upcoming are a number of conferences, including the ISHS 25th anniversary in Oakland, CA; MLA in Austin, TX; and SAMLA in Durham, NC.  You should check out the announcement here.

*Another piece of exciting news is that the whole back run of Studies in American Humor is on Jstor.  See all the Table of Contents and first pages here.

*If you have announcements from other societies or for CFPs or any other news, send them to Tracy Wuster at wustert@gmail.com

*And since the Emmys and Oscars snubbed Joan Rivers in their In Memoriam segments, here is a small tribute:

Joan Rivers picture in memoriam

Editor’s Chair: The State of the Union

Tracy Wuster, EditorState of the Union Obama

We here at “Humor in America” have seen some big changes to the state of the web page.  A number of our editors–Sharon McCoy, ABE, Matt Daube, and Phil Scepanski–have left or taken a hiatus.  To fill those giant shoes, former contributing editors Bonnie Applebeet and Steve Brykman have returned, and they will be joined by Jan McIntire-Strasburg, the executive director of the American Humor Studies Association, Robert Tally, of Texas State University, and Tara Friedman, of Widener University.  Welcome, and welcome back.

More humor studies news:

* Judith Yaross Lee, the editor of Studies in American Humor, has posted her editorial statement for the journal at the StAH homepage.  Check out:

Enter Laughing:

American Humor Studies in the Spirit of Our Times

* The essay is part of the most recent issue of the journal.  See the Table of Contents.  This is the first issue of which I am the Book Review Editor.  You can get the journal by joining the AHSA here.

*And see the call for a special issue of the journal: American Humor in the 1920s and 1930s: Cross-Media Perspectives

Studies in American Humor, the journal of the American Humor Studies Association, invites submission of scholarly papers on humor across media in the 1920s and 1930s for a special issue of the journal appearing in the fall of 2015, coedited by Rob King (Columbia University) and Judith Yaross Lee (Ohio University).  Specifically, we are interested in papers that explore the circulation of humor within and across media industries during this formative period in the consolidation of American mass culture.

More here.

*The AHSA has a good number of upcoming conferences.  We will have three panels at ALA. We are looking for papers for our MLA and SAMLA panels, as well as for the upcoming Quadrennial Conference in New Orleans (with the Mark Twain Circle).  See the AHSA announcements page.

* The New Orleans conference will be an amazing conference.  Be sure to be there.

American Humor Studies Association

Mark Twain Circle of America

Quadrennial Conference 2014

December 4-7, 2014

Four Points Sheraton French Quarter 

The American Humor Studies Association, in conjunction with the Mark Twain Circle of America, sends out this general call for papers on American humor and Mark Twain.  The topics below are suggestions for topics that we think will be of interest; other topics are welcome, and we welcome especially submissions of sessions of three papers or roundtables.  The topics are broad in the hope that scholars will be able to find one that fits their current research.  Submissions should be sent to Jan McIntire-Strasburg via email (mcintire@slu.edu).  Please send your submissions by May 15, 2014.

Those sending in submissions for the Mark Twain Circle of America can email their proposals to Ann Ryan at ryanam@lemoyne.edu.

* You might also be interested in the 27th Annual AATH Humor Conference in Vincennes, Indiana… April 3-6, 2014… at the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy located on the campus of Vincennes University.

*Or you might be interested in the International Society for Humor Studies Conference.  The 2014 ISHS Conference will be held from July 7 to July 11, 2014 on the campus of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Editor’s Chair: Catching up with the American Humor Studies Association

Tracy Wuster, Vice President–American Humor Studies Association

The American Humor Studies Association has been active this past year working to promote humor studies as an academic field, and we are excited to share our work with you.  Last year, we sponsored excellent panels at MLA and ALA.  Many of our members presented on humor and Mark Twain at the 7th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, which featured an excellent keynote speech by Peter Kaminsky on the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  We also published two issues of Studies in American Humor in the last year, as well as our newsletter, “To Wit.”  This year sees the transition from Ed Piacentino to Judith Yaross Lee as editor of the journal, with myself as book review editor.  Look for an interview with Judith on “Humor in America” soon and an excerpt from her wonderful new book, Twain’s Brand.

The AHSA is excited for our upcoming work for the next year:

*First, the AHSA is very excited to announce the creation of the “Jack Rosenbalm Prize for American Humor.” Jack was the first managing editor, and then editor, of Studies in American Humor and a strong promoter of humor studies as a field.  He was awarded the Charlie Award in 1993.

Awarded tor the best article on American humor by a pre-tenure scholar, graduate student, adjunct professor, or independent scholar published in (or accepted for publication in) a peer-reviewed academic journal.  Articles published in 2013 are eligible for the inaugural award.  Please submit by 12/15/2013 to: ahsahumor@gmail.com

See link above for more information.

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*The AHSA is working on Calls for Papers for three conferences next year–ALA, MLA, and our Quadrennial conference, which will be in New Orleans in December 2014.  Look for the CFP for that and for MLA soon.  The ALA call is looking for abstracts in the following topics:

1. “Political Humor from Franklin to Colbert”

2. “Teaching American Humor” (A Roundtable)

3. “Graphic Humor in American Periodicals” (Co-Sponsored with the Research Society for American Periodicals)

See our announcements page for more information.

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*The AHSA is  also co-sponsoring a Works in Progress symposium with the Mark Twain Circle of America in February.  This working conference is intended to advance publication of work on American Humor, Mark Twain, and related work in progress. Individuals papers and group symposia will be offered relating to work in progress which will be presented by participants and discussed and developed with the help of attending scholars.

Where:    The Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Massachusetts (http://www.redlioninn.com/)

When:     Thursday-Saturday February 20-22

Information at the announcements page above.

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Call for Papers:  MAD Magazine and Its Legacies  Special issue of Studies in American Humor, Fall 2014

Since 1952, MAD Magazine has regaled humor lovers and inspired humor producers in many media. Studies in American Humor, the journal of the American Humor Studies Association, invites submission of scholarly papers devoted to MAD Magazine and its legacies for a special issue of the journal appearing in the fall of 2014, coedited by John Bird (Winthrop University) and Judith Yaross Lee (Ohio University).

Topics might include, but are not limited to: *humor, verbal and/or visual  *subversive humor  *satire (as technique, analysis of individual examples or themes, etc.)  *parody (as technique, analysis of individual examples or themes, etc.)  *individual artists and writers  *regular and occasional features  *one or mode recurrent themes (politics, technology, parenthood, suburbia)  *cultural impact and legacies  *influence, general and specific (including direct influence on individuals and genres)  *reception

Potential contributors should send queries and abstracts (500-750 words) by October 1, 2013 or complete manuscripts by June 1, 2014.  Email queries and abstracts to studiesinamericanhumor@ohio.edu.  General information on Studies in American Humor and submission guidelines are available athttp://studiesinamericanhumor.org/.

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*You can join the American Humor Studies Association by mail or electronically.  Information on joining can be found on our website.  The AHSA website contains a section for syllabus, assignments, and information on teaching American humor.  We welcome any additions to this resources.  “Humor in America” will be running a piece on using podcasts to teach dialect humor, prepared by our Executive Director–Jan McIntire Strasburg–in the next few weeks.  Please contact me–Tracy Wuster (wustert@gmail.com)–if you have humor pedagogy resources you would like to share.

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*Finally, the AHSA is excited to announce that Studies in American Humor will soon be included in JStor in its full run from 1976 through our recent issues.  JSTor is kindly scanning past issues and hopes to include the journal in its next update.  Keep an eye out.

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Editor’s Chair: Humor Studies News for summer…

Tracy Wuster

ABE’s post from earlier this week highlighted the institution of the “editor’s chair,” which I have taken a seat in several times before to inform you, my dear readers, of the goings on for Humor in America and  in humor studies more generally.  Often, these postings have been inspired by the truest of all journalistic motives–a missed deadline.

So it goes.

I have also often written posts about milestones with the site.  This morning, we passed 130,000 views.  Our overall readership has been a steady 150 views or so for several months, following a summer and fall of larger readership.  I have a theory that our current readership reflects a more accurate count of our reach, following the inflated numbers that followed Ricky Gervais tweeting our post and the traffic from an aggregator that referred hundreds a day during the fall and then fell out of love with us.  I thank you for reading us.

On to the news:

* Steve Brykman and Phil Scepanski commented on this news story on humor in times of tragedy, specifically in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

* There is a new issue of Studies in American Humor that members of the American Humor Studies Association recently received in the mail.  The issue is a special issue on Kurt Vonnegut edited by Peter Kunze and Robert Tally.  You can get the journal by joining the AHSA, as well as on some versions of EBSCO.

*Speaking of Studies in American Humor, I am the book review editor of the journal.  I am currently looking for reviewers for 4-5 books.  See here.  The reviews would be for the Spring issue and due in the fall. If you know of a book that we might want to review, please let me know (wustert@gmail.com).

al capp

Up for review

*Also arriving in the mail is the newest issue of To Wit, the newsletter of the AHSA.  The issue features a version of one of Jeffrey Melton’s pieces from Humor in America.  Also in the newsletter is the listing of AHSA, Mark Twain Circle, and Kurt Vonnegut Society panels at ALA in Boston (May 23-26).  Hope to see you there.

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Up for review, too.

* The summer also features the 7th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies (what I call “Mark Twain Summer Camp“) in Elmira, New York.  Four of the editors of this site will be there.

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Me, too!

*The 2013 ISHS Conference will be held from July 2 to July 6, 2013 on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.

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Yes, up for review!

*We have a twitter account where we post articles on humor, links, etc. Al Franken, Baratunde Thurston, David Brent, and Walt Whitman are followers… maybe you should, too.

*Please let me know if you have any news, CFPs, etc. on humor studies.  Thanks.

Editor’s Chair: Let’s Destroy the Sun

Tracy Wuster

A friend of mine–and one of my favorite pessimists–has said that she cures writer’s block by placing one simple sentence at the top of her page and going from there.  So here goes:

Since the dawn of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun.

There.  Maybe that will help…

Mr. Montgomery Burns destroys blocks the sun

Mr. Burns destroys the sun…

Nope.  I just don’t have anything intelligent to say about humor right now, nothing like Jeffrey Melton’s sharp piece on pedagogy of humor, or Matt Powell’s excellent work on Andy Kaufman’s music,  Matthew Duabe’s insightful piece on performance and Princess Ivona, Sharon McCoy’s truly funny meditation on germs in public places, Caroline Zarlengo Sposto’s birthday wishes to that great American poet Muhammed Ali, Phil Scepanski’s insightful discussion of sick humor, or ABE’s solid writing on Marc Maron’s podcast.  See, I have resorted to a clip show, the final resort of the lazy sitcom writer (although those are all excellent pieces worth reading, for sure).

But I have nothing.  I wish I could turn my external circumstances–which are not really conducive to writing about humor–into humorous insight, as Sharon McCoy has so wonderfully done on our pages.  But I can’t.  I apologize.

Instead, I will point to the work I have been doing with the AHSA and Humor Studies Caucus of the ASA to plan panels for upcoming conferences in Boston (ALA) and D.C. (ASA).  Also, check out the announcements page above or on the AHSA website for new CFPs for the AHSA at MLA 2014, humor studies and Mark Twain at the RMLA, and humor studies at SAMLA.

Also, I blame my book, the manuscript of which is due to the University of Missouri Press at the end of the month.  Here is a brief sample, touching on Twain and humor:

In 1874, as Twain was writing the series “Old Times on the Mississippi” for the Atlantic, Howells attempted to ease Twain’s fears about the audience he was writing for, stating in a letter “Don’t write at any supposed Atlantic audience, but yarn it off as into my sympathetic ear.”  Twain responded with a line that reflects a sense of relief at this new professional opportunity: “It isn’t the Atlantic audience that distresses me; for it is the only audience that I sit down before in perfect serenity (for the simple reason that it don’t require a ‘humorist’ to paint himself stripèd & stand on his head every fifteen minutes.)”[1] The possibility of earning a living, or at least a reputation, as a new type of humorist—one who didn’t have to curry public favor with constant buffoonery—seems to have appealed to Twain.

My pessimist friend loves when I have footnotes on a blog post.  And if you are one of my editor’s, I wrote this while also eating pizza and preparing for class.  No writing time or thought was spared for non-book work.  And if you are one of the contributor’s to this site, thank you for your excellent posts and sorry for not living up to your standard.
Now, on to destroy the sun…
statler and waldorf destroy the sun


[1] William D. Howells to SLC, 3 December 1874, (UCLC 32073).http://www.marktwainproject.org/x tf/view?docId=letters/UCLC32073.xml;styl e=letter;brand=mtp and SLC to William Dean Howells, 8 Dec 1874, Hartford, Conn. (UCCL 05257). <http://www.marktwainproject.org/xtf/view?docId=letters/UCCL05257.xml;style=letter;brand=mtp>

Editor’s Chair: 7th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies

Mark Twain's study on the campus of Elmira College.  Photo by Tracy Wuster.

Mark Twain’s study on the campus of Elmira College. Photo by Tracy Wuster.

Every four years, the Center for Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, New York sponsors a conference on Mark Twain–this year is the 7th International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies.  Don’t let the formal name fool you.  This is fun. I prefer to call it “Mark Twain Summer Camp.”  There are sing-a-longs, fancy dinners (with fancy wines), and a good number of “camp buddies” to make.  There are also great papers and presentations on Mark Twain, of course.

Most of us who attended the last conference would agree that it was among the best–if not the best–conference we have ever attended, and we are all eagerly looking forward to August in Elmira, especially if the humidity stays mostly away like last time.

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Photo courtesy of Patrick Ober

The highlight of the last conference was the presence of Hal Holbrook, especially his storytelling on the site of Mark Twain’s study lit by the moon and cigars.  I wrote about this event and posted the audio of his storytelling in a previous post.

Anyway, proposals for the conference are due in just about a week.  If you have anything on Twain, do yourself a favor and work it up for this conference.  The full call can be found here:  Elmira2013CallforPapers

elmira twain conference 2013 center for mark twain studies 7th

 

Editor’s Chair: Busy month for humor studies

Tracy Wuster

Hello dear readers.  We at “Humor in America” hope you had jolly holidays and festive new year’s and such.  Last year, we said goodbye to a great group of editors–Bonnie Applebeet, Joe Faina, Beza Merid, and David Olsen.  We also added Jeffrey Melton, Matt Powell, ABEMatthew Daube, Phil Scepanski, and saw the return of Sharon McCoy and Steve Brykman.  And don’t forget the wonderful contributions of Caroline Sposto.  A big thank you to all the editors and contributors from the past year.  If you would like to contribute a post, please let me know.

The month of January brings a whole slew of humor studies opportunities to think about.

**American Humor Studies Association at ALA:

American Humor Studies AssociationAbstracts due January 15.  Conference is May 23-6 in Boston.

1. “Humor in Periodicals: From Punch to Mad”—Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on the role of humorous literature in American periodicals from the early national period to the present.  Subject adaptable to both humorous periodicals and humor in serious periodicals across a wide time range; thus, title will change to reflect composition of panel.

2. “Reading Humorous Texts”–Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on the interpretation, recovery, or pedagogy of humorous texts from novels and poems to plays and stand-up.  Some focus on the act of interpretation of humor in its historical, performative, formal, or other cultural context is encouraged.

Please e-mail abstracts no later than January 15, 2013 to Tracy Wuster (wustert@gmail.com) with the subject line: “AHSA session, 2013 ALA.” Notifications will go out no later than January 20, 2013.

**Humor Studies Caucus at the American Studies Association.

louis ckStephen-ColbertMargaret Cho comedyMarx Brothers (A Day at the Races)_01

Abstracts due January 15

Deadline extended!.

American Studies Association Annual Meeting: 

“Beyond the Logic of Debt, Toward an Ethics of Collective Dissent,” 

November 21-24, 2013: Hilton Washington, DC

http://www.theasa.net/annual_meeting/page/submit_a_proposal/

Proposals on any aspect of American Humor will be welcome.  Panels will be assembled for submission by the January 26 deadline.

Proposals should be no more than 500 words and should include a brief CV (1 page).  Please include current ASA membership status.

Proposals (and questions) should be sent to Tracy Wuster and Jennifer Hughes: wustert@gmail.com & jahughes@yhc.edu

**Looking for book reviewers for Studies in American Humor.

We have a number of books for which we need reviewers for our Fall 2013 issue.

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Here are the books looking for reviewers:

1. Avashi, Bernard. Promiscuous: “Portnoy’s Complaint” and Our Doomed Pursuit of Happiness New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.

2. Ferrari, Chiara Francesca. Since When is Fran Drescher Jewish?: Dubbing Stereotypes in The Nanny, The Simpsons, and The Sopranos. Foreword by Joseph Straubhaar. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.

3. Holtz, Allan. American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2012.

4. Kohen, Yael. We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2012

5. Nel, Phil, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s LiteratureUniversity Press of Mississippi, 2012. 368 pages, 88 illustrations.

6. Morris, Roy Jr. Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013.

We especially encourage graduate students and junior scholars to review books.  If you are interested in reviewing one of the above books, please contact Tracy Wuster (wustert@gmail.com) with the information below, as well as the specific book you are interested in reviewing:

Name:
Email:
Mailing Address:
Institution:
Level (grad, independent, asst/assoc/full professor):
Main areas of research/areas you are interested in reviewing:
Current member of AHSA (y/n):
***‎”Rise early. It is the early bird that catches the worm. Don’t be fooled by this absurd saw; I once knew a man who tried it. He got up at sunrise and a horse bit him.” – Mark Twain’s Notebook

Editor’s Chair: Humor Studies News

Tracy Wuster

 

More recently:

Editor’s Chair: Busy month for humor studies

Hello readers.  Two calls for papers out now for Humor Studies–one from the AHSA and one from the Humor Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association.  See the Announcements page for a few more CFPs, as well. Please remember to send me any announcements, CFPs, etc. to post here and on the AHSA site.

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Calvin and Hobbes, academia, writing

The Humor Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association is seeking papers for the 2012 ASA Conference:

American Studies Association Annual Meeting: 

“Beyond the Logic of Debt, Toward an Ethics of Collective Dissent,” 

November 21-24, 2013: Hilton Washington, DC

http://www.theasa.net/annual_meeting/page/submit_a_proposal/

Proposals on any aspect of American Humor will be welcome, including, but not limited to:

Stand-Up Comedy      Jokes     Wit           Merriment

Literary Humor  (both high- and low-brow)       Richard Pryor

Film     Satire     Will Rogers

Comedy Jokes     Risibility     Sitcoms

Laughter

Mark Twain     Dirty Jokes    Lenny Bruce

Ventriloquism     the Circus     Marietta Holley

subtle humor     broad humor

Margaret Cho     regional humor

transnational humor     ethnic humor

and even puns…

Proposals due by: January 11th

Panels will be assembled for submission by the January 26 deadline.

Proposals should be no more than 500 words and should include a brief CV (1 page).  Please include current ASA membership status.

Proposals (and questions) should be sent to Tracy Wuster and Jennifer Hughes: wustert@gmail.com & jahughes@yhc.edu

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American Humor Studies Association

American Literature Association

2013 National Convention

Boston,  Westin Copley Hotel, May 26-29.

The AHSA plans to sponsor two sessions at the 2013 national meeting. We seek cogent, provocative, well-researched papers on the following subjects:

1. “Humor in Periodicals: From Punch to Mad”—Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on the role of humorous literature in American periodicals from the early national period to the present.  Subject adaptable to both humorous periodicals and humor in serious periodicals across a wide time range; thus, title will change to reflect composition of panel.

2. “Reading Humorous Texts”–Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on the interpretation, recovery, or pedagogy of humorous texts from novels and poems to plays and stand-up.  Some focus on the act of interpretation of humor in its historical, performative, formal, or other cultural context is encouraged.

Please e-mail abstracts no later than January 15, 2013 to Tracy Wuster (wustert@gmail.com) with the subject line: “AHSA session, 2013 ALA.” Notifications will go out no later than January 20, 2013.

***

clown mime humor sense of humor cartoon academia

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Our friend and contributor sent along this announcement:

Persons interested in American humor may have a free and uncopyrighted copy of Scalawag, my biography of John N. Reynolds in Microsoft Word, e-mailed to them as an attachment by sending a request to samsackett1928@gmail.com.  It is not totally funny, but there are several chuckles here and there, and one or two outright laughs.  Included are an amusing folk limerick and two examples of the prose of Walt Mason, one of the great but forgotten American humorists.
I ran across Reynolds while working on my book on E.W. Howe.  After completing the Howe book, I gathered as much material as possible and wrote an account of his life, making it both as factual and as entertaining as I could.  Reynolds has no real importance, but I thought the general public would enjoy reading about him.  I tried to get book publishers to agree with me, but without success.  And I really didn’t have enough for a book anyway (76 pages).  So I am giving it away.
Who was John N. Reynolds?  He was a hard-working college student, a self-ordained minister, a pioneer schoolmaster of brilliant success, a Sunday school superintendent, a newspaper editor, a music storekeeper, a sewing machine agent, a baker, a rogue, an inventor, a penitentiary inmate, a public speaker, a land salesman, a farmer, a candidate for public office, a banker, an itinerant evangelist, an insurance executive, a student of shorthand, an author, a book salesman, and a maniac — in approximately that order, but some of them more than once and some of them simultaneously.  He was also — and in this he was quintessentially human — an enigma.
You can read Scalawag on your computer or print it out.  It’s free.  And if you don’t like it, I’ll gladly refund every penny you paid for it.
Sam Sackett

Big News! News! More News!

Tracy Wuster

Hello all.  Your regularly scheduled post on visual humor has been rescheduled for later this week.  In its place, we have big news, news, and more news.

Big News! 

We are welcoming a new editor to “Humor in America.”  Jeffrey Melton will be taking on the role of “pedagogy editor” and working on creating a series called “Teaching American Humor.”  This series will include his own writings, writings from the current editors, and (most importantly) pieces written by you–the scholars and readers out there who teach humor and are longing for a place to discuss it.  This is your place.

So check out Jeffrey’s pieces:

Teaching American Sitcoms: Ode to The Beverly Hillbillies

Teaching the Irony of Satire (Ironically)

And check out his next post on “Teaching American Sitcoms” next Tuesday.

News

The CFP for the American Humor Studies Association, as well as the Mark Twain Circle of America and the Kurt Vonnegut Society, are posted in the Announcements section of our website, as well as at the website of the AHSA.

AHSA Calls

1. “Humor in Periodicals: From Punch to Mad”—Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on the role of humorous literature in American periodicals from the early national period to the present.  Subject adaptable to both humorous periodicals and humor in serious periodicals across a wide time range; thus, title will change to reflect composition of panel.

2. “Reading Humorous Texts”–Abstracts (300 words max.) are encouraged on the interpretation, recovery, or pedagogy of humorous texts from novels and poems to plays and stand-up.  Some focus on the act of interpretation of humor in its historical, performative, formal, or other cultural context is encouraged.

Please e-mail abstracts no later than January 15, 2013 to Tracy Wuster (wustert@gmail.com) with the subject line: “AHSA session, 2013 ALA.” Notifications will go out no later than January 20, 2013.

Remember: please send me any relevant announcements at: wustert@gmail.com  — I will post them both here and at the AHSA website.

Remember also: you can renew your membership or join the AHSA electronically or by mail.  See here.

Remember as well: we have a Facebook page.  As does the AHSA and the Mark Twain Circle of America.

More News

Last Thursday’s poetry post by Caroline Sposto was featured on the “Freshly Pressed” section of WordPress.  Congratulations to Caroline.  Keep an eye out for future posts on the presidential debate, on the dinner table in family sitcoms, on Halloween music, and more…  and, as always, please consider contributing.