Laughter in the Digital Age -- A Special Issue of Comedy Studies

full name / name of organization: 
Peter C. Kunze, University of Texas at Austin
contact email: 

*Please note the original posting mentioned a deadline of November 2015; the correct date in November 2014.*

"Laughter in the Digital Age"
Special Issue of Comedy Studies
Guest Editor: Peter C. Kunze, University of Texas at Austin

Websites, social media platform, and YouTube and other video-sharing services make the dissemination of comedy easier than ever, and studies of the implications of new media on comedy and humor is only beginning. This issue examines how the Internet as well as new technologies radically change how humor and comedy are produced, exhibited, and distributed in the digital age. I invite papers, broadly conceived, that consider these issues through either theoretical discussions or case studies of specific artists, texts, platforms, or sub-genres. Potential articles may cover:

• How comedians/comediennes or humorists use their personal websites or social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)
• Programming that originates and is broadcast online: web series, webisodes
• Digital distribution
• Star studies of online personalities: bloggers, vloggers, tweeters, etc.
• Digital-specific genres, like blogging, vlogging, viral videos, Tweets, Buzzfeed listicles
• Audience studies
• Questions of representation, narrative, authorship online
• Media industry studies
• National/transnational humor
• Digital technologies—smart phones, digital cameras and camcorders, iPods, tablets
• Memes and meme culture
• Comedy and social media campaigns
• Comedy-focused websites: College Humor, Funny or Die, The Onion, etc.

The overall goal is to examine how digital technologies either democratize or restrict the creation and distribution of innovative comedy, examining key problems and possibilities posed by new media for the tradition of humor and comedy and its study.

Comedy Studies is published by Routledge. Papers must be between 5,000 and 6,000 words and adhere to Chicago Manual Style (16th ed.). Please submit to Pete Kunze at by November 1, 2014. The issue will be published in Summer 2015, and worthy manuscripts not selected for the special issue may be eligible for future publication in general issues.

The guest editor welcomes inquiries.