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:
*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.
*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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 email@example.com.
* 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
See link above for more information.
*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.
*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.
* 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 email@example.com. General information on Studies in American Humor and submission guidelines are available athttp://studiesinamericanhumor.org/.
*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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)–if you have humor pedagogy resources you would like to share.
*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.
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.
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
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
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: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com) with the subject line: “AHSA session, 2013 ALA.” Notifications will go out no later than January 20, 2013.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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