Vonnegut and Humor: A Special Issue of Studies in American Humor

full name / name of organization: 
Peter C. Kunze and Robert T. Tally, Jr.

2011 may well be called "The Year of Kurt Vonnegut." In April the Library of America issued a volume including his novels from 1963 to 1973, effectively canonizing Vonnegut. A school board of Republic, Missouri banned Slaughterhouse-Five from both its high school's required reading and library, prompting the recently opened Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library to offer affected students free copies of the acclaimed novel. This fall will see Charles J. Shields's highly anticipated biography, And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, as well as several new scholarly monographs, Lawrence R. Broer's Vonnegut and Hemingway: Writers at War, Gregory D. Sumner's Unstuck in Time: A Journey through Kurt Vonnegut's Life and Novels, and Robert T. Tally, Jr.'s Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel: A Postmodern Iconography. And so on, as Vonnegut might say.

With this renewed interest in mind, we welcome original essays that reconsider Vonnegut and humor. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Influences on his humor: Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, etc.
• Humorists/satirists influenced by Vonnegut: Douglas Adams, T. C. Boyle, John Irving, etc.
• Vonnegut in the tradition of American humor (including radio, film, and television)
• Vonnegut, postmodernism, and humor
• Vonnegut and black humor and/or the "black humorists"
• Vonnegut's musings on humor, laughter and comedy
• Laughter in the works of Kurt Vonnegut
• Humor as a rhetorical device in Vonnegut's work

Proposals of 250 words due Tuesday, November 1 to Peter C. Kunze (pkunze@fsu.edu) and Robert T. Tally, Jr. (robert.tally@txstate.edu). Accepted papers of 5,000 to 8,000 words and in MLA format will be due March 15 for peer review. Refereed articles will be published in the Fall, 2012 special issue of Studies in American Humor.