If you have a CFP you would like to publicize, please email Tracy Wuster at or post in a comment to this page.



Call for Abstracts for ALA 2018 

Panel 1:

The American Humor Studies Association seeks abstracts for a session titled “Dirty Words: Profanity, Power, and American Humor” for the American Literature Association annual conference in San Francisco, May 24-27, 2018.

AHSA welcomes submissions that explore any facet of profanity as a rhetorical force in American humor. Abstracts may propose focused analyses of specific texts from any time frame or medium as well as theoretical considerations of profanity as tied to literary, linguistic, and/or comedic form and structure. Potential participants should feel free to blur distinctions between literary humor and popular culture as they examine the power of profanity to subvert normal structures and expectations.

Please email a brief CV and 300-word abstract (and please indicate any audio/visual needs) by 08 January 2018 to Jeffrey Melton ( using “Dirty Words Panel” as the subject line. All panelists will need to be current members of AHSA.

Panel 2:

The American Humor Studies Association seeks abstracts for an Open-Topic session for the American Literature Association annual conference in San Francisco, May 24-27, 2018.

AHSA encourages submissions on any topic related to American humor for this session.

Please email a brief CV and 300-word abstract (and please indicate any audio/visual needs) by 08 January 2018 to Jeffrey Melton ( using “Open Topic Panel” as the subject line. All panelists will need to be current members of AHSA.


You may apply for both our ALA panels and our quadrennial conference (next notice).  If you apply for ALA and your paper does not fit, then you are more than welcome to submit that paper to the CFP for Chicago.  If you have any questions, please let us know.


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 250-word 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 a 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.



American Humor Studies Association

CFP for MLA 2018

The American Humor Studies Association is soliciting proposals for its panel, “Humor and Satire in Online Formats/ on Social Media.” Abstracts of no more than 500 words on comic artfulness in digital formats—e.g. YouTube, streaming services, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter. How do these formats enable and constrain humor and satire (e.g. Funny or DieAsk a Slave, parodic Trump Tweets) in what amounts to a digital public sphere? Send proposals to Jim Caron ( no later than March 15th.


Conference: 2017 AATH Annual Conference – Call for Research Posters
The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is the recognized authority and the primary membership organization for people with a common interest in applied humor and laughter. Its mission is to serve as the community of professionals who study, practice, and promote healthy humor and laughter.

We encourage all those who submit proposals to attend the April 27-30, 2017 conference in Orlando to exchange ideas, answer questions and create new connections; however, only submissions by researchers able to attend, in person, will be considered. Conference registration is required and is the responsibility of the researcher. There will be 4-5 presenters awarded.

If interested, please follow the link below and fill out the brief online form on or before Friday November 11, 2016 at 11:59 PM EDT

Through our generous scholarship donors, AATH is able to offer FIFTEEN SCHOLARSHIPS* to the 2017 conference that cover registration fees….

Sholarships are for Conference Registration or Humor Academy Registration Fee. Recipient is responsible for any additional membership fees, travel to the conference, and conference hotel stay.

To apply for a scholarship,
click HERE.


Once again I am organizing a special session on Mark Twain at the annual So=
uth Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA) Conference, Oct. 5-8, 2017.=
The theme for the conference is ?”Moving Words: Migrations, Translations,=
and Transformations” and will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at The Renaissan=
ce Tulsa.  I am organizing this special session because the SCMLA has no re=
gular session on Mark Twain and I hope to ultimately establish a regular pa=
nel.  Please submit abstracts to me by February 28, 2017.  The panel description follows:

Mark Twain’s Moving Words:  The Travels, Texts, and Talks of the Authentic =
American Author

Mark Twain’s career as a writer and speaker embodies this conference’s them=
e of “Moving Words: Migrations, Translations, and Transformations.”  Beginn=
ing his career as a travel writer, he shared his adventures with the world.=
As he developed as an author and gained notoriety, Twain transformed the A=
merican style of writing to one that reflects the uniquely American experie=
nce.  Finally, through his lectures and travels across America and Europe, =
he translated the American experience to the world, thus providing an inter=
pretation of what it was and is to be an American.  This panel encourages p=
apers on the various aspects of his career as a writer and lecturer.

Carolyn Leutzinger Richey
Tarleton State University
Department of English and Languages



Conference: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy

April 5-8, 2017

This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners interested in stand-up comedy from a range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to philosophy, performance studies, women’s and gender studies, African-American studies, theatre, art history, and culture studies.

In addition to academic papers, panels, comments, and discussion, the conference also includes workshops, an open mic night, roundtable discussion with comedians, and stand-up comedy performances.

Sponsored by Bucknell University and the American Society for Aesthetics.

Conference registration will open on Dec. 10, 2016 and close on March 10, 2017.


Call for Papers for the 2016 SAMLA Convention, November 4-6, Jacksonville, FL. See for more convention information.

Humor, whether in an historical realm (satirists and court jesters) or in a modern sense, has always held up the mirror to society. The American Humor Studies Association panel for the 2016 SAMLA Conference welcomes papers about any aspect of humor performance (stand up, essay, fiction, film, television, or other) as it pertains to society. Paper proposals addressing the SAMLA theme are especially welcome. By June 3, 2016, please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Todd Thomas, American Humor Studies Association, at




Call for Papers: Studies in American Humor


Studies in American Humor (StAH) invites submissions for upcoming issues.  Submissions of essay manuscripts of between 5000 and 8000 words are welcome on any topic, theme, practice, practitioner, and medium of American humor.  StAH values new transnational and interdisciplinary approaches as well as traditional critical and historical humanities scholarship.

The official journal of the American Humor Studies Association, Studies in American Humor (ISSN 0095-280X) has published scholarly essays, review essays, and book reviews on all aspects of American humor since 1974.  Issues appear semi-annually in spring and fall; articles are indexed in the MLA International Bibliography and available in full text in EBSCOhost’s Humanities International Complete and Literary Reference Center databases.

Additional information can be found at  Please address essay submissions and inquiries to Judith Yaross Lee, Editor of Studies in American Humor, at

Please address books for review and interest in serving as a reviewer to

Tracy Wuster, Book Review Editor, at


Humor: The International Journal of Humor Research

Instructions for Authors

Contributors are invited to submit articles pertaining to humor research to the editor

Giselinde Kuipers
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Amsterdam
OZ Achterburgwal 185
1012DK Amsterdam
The Netherlands

See website for more information.


Comedy Studies

Comedy plays a more important role today than ever before: it is a multi-billion dollar global industry, with Hollywood comedies taking major profits each year and comedians commanding huge salaries and audiences worldwide. Yet there is currently no academic journal dedicated to these cultural phenomena.

Comedy Studies is a response to this glaring absence. The journal will cover multiple aspects of comedy, with articles about both contemporary and historical comedy, interviews with practicing comedians and writers, reviews, letters and editorials. The journal seeks to be instrumental in creating interdisciplinary discourse about the nature and practice of comedy and provide a forum for the disparate voices of comedians, academics and writers. In this way, the journal aims to be the first step in the creation of a community committed to the promotion, documentation and expansion of the field of comedy studies.

Sample themes might include Ancient Greek theatre, the relation of comedy and food and comedy and gender. Another interest would be the role of comedy in therapy; in medical circles comedy is being incorporated into the healing process and professionals are beginning to develop methods of using laughter to deal with physical and psychological problems. The journal is also intent on investigating historical attempts to analyse comedy, from Aristotle to Freud. Finally, it aims to create links between the growing number of university departments who offer specialist units or courses in comedy in the UK and abroad.

Comedy Studies invites contributions from researchers and practitioners throughout the world seeking to analyse all aspects of comedy, laughter and joking. Some proposed topics are:

•    Contemporary performance aspects in comedy
•    Comedy and gender 
•    Comedy and therapy
•    The comedy foreigner
•    Comedy in political life


See this page for expired announcements.

Copyright © 2000-2011 American Humor Studies Association


One thought on “Announcements

  1. Steven Andrew Benko says:

    CFP: Ethics in Comedy, edited by Steven A. Benko

    What makes a joke right or wrong? When is it good or bad to laugh? The rights and wrongs of a
    joke can be expressed in political terms: a joke is politically incorrect or it exploits a marginalized
    group of people. Alternatively, a joke can be inappropriate or mean-spirited. A joke can make
    someone feel bad about their race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, body, gender
    identity, and the list can go on and on. Laughter can hurt someone’s feelings, reveal that the
    laugher lacks manners, or maybe holds to racist, sexist, or other offensive views. The same way
    that a joke can make a person feel self conscious about an aspect of their self, laughter
    reinforces in-group/out-group dynamics and can make a person feel excluded, isolated, or

    These negatives are balanced against the good that jokes and laughter can do: when they
    punch up, jokes and laughter can diminish the power that others hold over us. Comedians can
    be the sharpest of cultural critics, using irony, satire, and parody to reveal hypocrisy, speak
    difficult truths, and skewer social attitudes and biases that marginalize and oppress individuals
    and groups.

    But how do we speak of an ethics of comedy? The difficulty of an ethics of jokes and laughter is
    that so much of what makes humor work — and much of the work that humor does — is based on
    transgression. This edited volume seeks contributions that attempt to formulate an ethics of
    comedy. When is a joke right or wrong? Is it wrong if it offends, or right if it offends in the right
    way? How are we to determine the moral rightness or wrongness of laughing at one moment
    but not the next? Are there jokes that ought not to be told or punch lines that ought not to be
    laughed at? And how are we to know when this is the case?

    The collection should be accessible to upper level undergraduates. Essays should articulate a
    general approach to jokes and laughter and then apply that approach to specific examples.
    Examples can be drawn from any medium (stand-up, television, movies, internet, etc.). Essays
    that deal with comedians, topics, or ethical theories that undergraduate students would
    encounter in other courses are encouraged.

    Please submit proposals for essays of 6,000-8,500 words that explore the ethics of comedy:
    – Frameworks for an ethics of humor, jokes, and laughter
    – Normative ethical theories and humor, jokes, or laughter
    – Ethics and superiority, relief, and incongruity theory
    – An ethical analysis of a specific comedian
    – How a particular ethicist, philosopher, or theologian addresses the moral rightness or
    wrongness of laughter
    – The ethics of jokes about a controversial social topic, e.g. abortion, body shape or size,
    sexual violence, illness, etc.
    – Historical approaches to the ethics of laughter: what was the moral status of humor,
    laughter, and jokes in the past?
    – Evolving social standards, ethics, and humor: what jokes used to be funny and are not
    appropriate any more?
    – Politics vs. ethics in humor

    Send your questions about the book or submit your short description to Steven A. Benko at . The chapter proposal should consist of a short abstract (275-350
    words), chapter title, and a brief biography. Collaborations are welcomed. All proposals must be
    received by January 7, 2018. Final manuscripts of 6,000-8,500 words should be submitted in
    MLA style by August 20, 2018.

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