Humor in American 2018 Conference

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
American Humor Studies Association / Mark Twain Circle of America

Humor in America 2018
Call for Participants

Sponsored by:
American Humor Studies Association
Mark Twain Circle of America


“Humor in America” will be held on the campus Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago from July 12-15. The conference will feature paper panels and roundtables on all aspects of American humor and/or any subject related to Mark Twain.

Please send proposals to by February 1, 2018. Notifications will be sent by March 1. Please feel free to contact the conference organizers, Tracy Wuster, Larry Howe, and Pete Kunze, with any questions at

Proposals for paper presentations of 15-18 minutes should consist of a 250word proposal and A/V requests.

Proposals for organized panels of 15-18 minute papers moderated by a chair should include individual 250-word proposals, an overview of 100 words, a proposed Chair (not required), ad A/V requests.

Each roundtable participant will speak for 7-9 minutes on a topic related to the larger theme (see below). Participants may present both a paper and participate in a roundtable, should space allow. If you wish to participate only in a roundtable, please indicate with your submission. Please submit a title and 100-word abstract if interested by February 1, 2018.

Roundtable topics:
--Theory, Methodology, and Practice of Humor Studies: New Directions
--MT and Graphic Humor: Icon and Caricature
--Gender and Humor: Can Men be Funny?
--Race, Ethnicity, and the Study of Humor
--Mark Twain and Today’s satirists: Colbert, Bee, and Oliver
--The Publics of Political Humor and Satire
--Violence in the humor of Mark Twain
--Humor, Comedy, and Historiography

We welcome proposals for paper presentations and panels on any topic related to American humor and/or Mark Twain, broadly conceived. Scholars across the humanities are invited to present research on any of the following
topics (or others related to humor, comedy, laughter, etc., etc.):
· literary humor (including but not limited to Chesnutt, Fanny Fern, Parker, Faulkner, Melville, Vonnegut, Ellison, Morrison, Kingston, Beatty, Ephron, Sedaris, etc.)
· humor and gender, race, sexuality, class, religion
· stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and other humorous performances
· radio comedy, television, and film comedy
· visual humor, comics, and graphic narratives
· podcasts, internet humor, memes, and other new media
· satire, ridicule, parody, and other forms of humor
· humor in “serious” contexts or works
· humor in regional, national, transnational, international, and other spatial contexts
· All topics related to Mark Twain (especially the following topics: Mark Twain language play, MT and Political humor, MT and stand-up, MT and gendered humor, Laughter and the Color Line: Huckleberry Finn and Pudd’nhead Wilson, The Fantastic and The Comic in MT, The Comic Rhetoric of MT's Speeches and/or Interviews)

We especially welcome proposals from scholars of color, junior scholars, and independent scholars. Graduate students attending the conference will be eligible for “Constance Rourke Travel Grants” to assist with travel funds. We highly encourage scholars to contribute to this fund. See the conference website for more information.

Attendees must be (or become) a member of the American Humor Studies Association or the Mark Twain Circle of America. Presenters will be highly encouraged to submit article-length versions of their work for possible
publication in Studies in American Humor, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Humor Studies Association since 1974 and in conjunction with the Penn State University Press since 2015. Presenters on Mark Twain will be encouraged to submit article-length versions to the Mark Twain Annual, published by Penn State University Press.

The conference registration fee will be $40 for graduate students, adjunct faculty, and independent scholars, and $75 for tenure-track faculty members.