CFP: [American] Wits and Wags in Southern Literature, SAMLA 08

full name / name of organization: 
Gretchen Martin
contact email: 



Wits and Wags in Southern Literature

The American Humor Studies Association invites papers that analyze
characters of any period in southern literature identified as wits and/or
wags. Humor has traditionally and historically played a significant role
in the work of southern writers from the colonial period into the 21st
Century and is often delivered by characters featured as savvy and
humorous observers of time, place, and occasionally self. While the
distinction between terms is rather ambiguous, characters considered wits
tend to function more as detached spectators, noted for the intellectual
ability to discern humorous situations; whereas, wags tend to function
more actively and typically generate and participate in humorous events.
Southern Humor is often satirical, playful, self-deprecating, and
sometimes rather dark, which often functions as a powerful form of
cultural critique and social scrutiny.

Possible topics might include but are not limited to the following:

• Colonial Humor, for example William Byrd, Ebenezer Cook
• Mid-Nineteenth Century Southwestern Humor
• A character the community deems a fool but who eventually emerges
as a Wit and/or a Wag.
• Storytellers: Style and Tale
• Verbal Sparring
• Dark Historical Issues made Light
• Sophisticates versus Plain Folk

Send 150-250 word abstracts (electronic submissions are welcome) by April
15, 2008 to:
Gretchen Martin
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA 24293

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Received on Wed Dec 05 2007 - 12:47:12 EST