Funny Girls: Humor and American Women Writers (SAMLA, 11/5/10-11/7/10, Abstracts by 4/1/10)

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In 1852, Fanny Fern, the newspaper columnist famous for her biting satires, responded to a letter from a fan who suggested that only a happy woman could write such funny prose: "You labor under the hallucination that I felt merry when I wrote all that nonsense! Not a bit of it; it's a way I have when I can't find a razor handy to cut my throat!" In that vein, we invite proposals that consider how American women writers (from any time period) follow Fern's model, using humor in their writing to ameliorate anger, sadness, frustration, or feelings of oppression and/or marginalization. Although examinations of all genres are welcome, in keeping with SAMLA's theme this year, proposals that discuss the interplay of text and image are especially welcome. By April 1, 2010, please send 250-word abstracts to Heidi Hanrahan, Shepherd University, at