Humor and Satire

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Glossolalia, Yale Divinity School's graduate journal of religion
contact email: 


Glossolalia, Yale Divinity School’s peer-reviewed journal of religion, is pleased to announce a call for papers for inclusion in the Spring 2018 edition, on the theme of “Humor and Satire.”

Through jokes, jabs, and jeers, ideas can be easily transmitted from person to person, granting widespread appeal to a larger audience – and indeed, such humor has saturated religious dialogue. The biting rhetorical writing of the patristic authors, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and the apologetics of G. K. Chesterton are all examples of texts that employ humor as a constitutive element of their discourse. Papers might explore broad topics ranging from the significance of humor for apophatic argument – can a God who cannot be known be joked about? – to the complex rhetorical strategies employed by apologists and polemicists. What is the relationship between humor (and the linguistic and social transgression it often occasions) and religious orthodoxy? More focused papers might examine Irenaeus’s lampooning of Gnostic cosmologies, Dante’s mockery of his rivals throughout the Divine Comedy, or even playful treatments of religion in films such as The Life of Brian. In what ways can ancient humor become accessible to the modern reader? Does humor and satire still have a place in modern religious scholarship? How can these elements work to make a space more inclusive or exclusive? Which ethical dimensions ought to be considered when expressing humorous and satirical attempts? How do emotion and affect impact an audience’s reception of various media? What can humor (or lack thereof) teach us about religious self-portrayal? How have various religious figures or groups been satirized – for better or worse – and how do these portrayals play out in the public sphere?

We invite papers from all areas of scholarly discourse, ranging from history, literature, and theology, to film studies, gender & sexuality studies, and many more fields, to join us in discussing the theme of humor and its interactions with various religious traditions. While one of the primary missions of Glossolalia is to provide an academic space for the work of graduate students, submissions from all are welcome, including professional and independent scholars, as well as from undergraduates who have produced extraordinary work.

Papers must be 15-25 pp. in 12 pt. Garamond font, and styled according to Chicago/Turabian. (More complete formatting instructions can be found here.) Papers that are formatted incorrectly will not be considered for review. Please submit papers as .doc or .docx documents to by 11:59 PM on March 31, 2018. Please remove all authorial references from text’s body, in order to ensure anonymous peer review. All inquiries may be addressed to the editor in chief, Alexander D’Alisera, at

We look forward to reviewing all submissions.

Wishing you all the very best,

Alexander D’Alisera, Chance Bonar, Acacia Chan, Ben Wyatt
Glossolalia Editorial Board, Yale Divinity School