[UPDATE] Transnational Laughter: Contemporary Film and TV Comedy across National Borders [second call]

full name / name of organization: 
David Scott Diffrient and Shelley Bradfield / Colorado State University

My co-editor and I are seeking additional proposals and contributions for a collection of original essays entitled Transnational Laughter: Contemporary Film and TV Comedy across National Borders. We have already accepted several proposals, but are now looking specifically for contributions dealing with the transnational flow of comic forms and humor-based cultural texts within and across African, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, South American and Central American contexts.

As the first edited volume of its kind, Transnational Laughter seeks to expand the field of media studies and shed light on overlooked areas of academic interest, taking comedy and its various subgenres (including black comedy, improv, modern slapstick, the romcom, satire, scatological humor, sketch comedy, spoofs, stand-up, and so forth) as vehicles through which to assess the international transit of these specific cultural forms over the past 25-30 years. Focusing on recent industrial and technological developments that have facilitated the global circulation, consumption, and reception of humor-based short films, feature-length motion pictures, and television programs (from Canada to Romania to South Africa to New Zealand to Taiwan to Venezuela and beyond), the essays in this volume will collectively make the case that, counter to traditional wisdom, comedy does travel, albeit often in limited (and unexpected) ways due to cultural differences, industry regulations, political factors, and/or language barriers.

Although an emphasis will be placed on the reception of texts across national and regional borders, contributors are invited to take a variety of critical approaches or theoretical perspectives in the analyses of their chosen case studies. Contributors should feel free to pursue qualitative research in the areas of media industries, audience studies, spectatorship, situated (counter)publics, and resistant or negotiated reading strategies adopted by in-group or out-group members. In hopes of reaching a wide readership, the essays should be sophisticated and scholarly, yet relatively jargon-free.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • culturally specific forms of physical and/or spoken comedy located in selected national contexts, and performed in film and/or on television
  • exemplary, humor-based works in media that have been produced in largely overlooked areas of the world, i.e., countries that have not received much attention in the existing literature on international film and television comedy
  • recent film and TV remakes of international comedies and the challenges of cultural translation/adaptation
  • different manifestations of comic satisfaction, such as laughter, finger-snaps, whistles, etc., found in regionally specific contexts of film and television reception
  • humor "on the move" and the mobile consumption of comedy (liminal spectatorship)
  • cross-cultural "cringe," the global "gross out" moment, and the affective trajectories of scatological comedy
  • international comedy film festivals and the marketing/selling/exhibition of humor-based cultural productions across borders
  • stars of global media comedy and the "transnationalizing" of comedic talent
  • racial and ethnic diversity in internationally distributed comedy productions
  • sexual identity and gender politics in internationally distributed comedy productions
  • social class and strategies of "containment"

Please send your abstract (500-750 words in length) or completed essay (5,000-7,000 words), plus a brief biographical statement, as e-mail attachments (in Word or as a Rich Text File) to the email address listed below.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is June 30, 2011. Once my co-editor and I have determined which essays to include in the volume, we will send the manuscript proposal to a university press this summer. The tentative deadline for the completion of essays (after acceptance) will be December 30, 2011.

Dr. David Scott Diffrient
Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies
Department of Communication Studies
Colorado State University