2012 SAMLA, Humor as Reflection/Deflection in Memoir (AHSA session)

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2012 South Atlantic Modern Language Association
November 9-11, 2012, Research Triangle, NC

In Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris writes of his youthful struggle to keep his gay identity hidden. He notes, for instance, "When asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, we hid the truth and listed who we wanted to sleep with when we grew up." Through the lens of humor, Sedaris's memoir illustrates the pain of hiding one's identity in societies that are at best ambivalent to or at worst hostile to difference. In this sense, the American Humor Studies Association invites proposals that consider the way humor functions in memoir to act as a reflection or deflection of cultural issues of identity. In keeping with SAMLA's theme this year, proposals that touch upon exile/immigration are particularly welcome, but not necessary. By May 31, 2012, please send 250-word abstracts to Elizabeth Vogel, Arcadia University, at vogele@arcadia.edu.