The American Humor Studies Association came into being on December 26, 1975, through the efforts of Professor Jack Meathenia of Southwest Texas State University. The society is dedicated to the study of all areas of American humor, including belles lettres, popular comics, film, television, and other multimedia. At AHSA’s first formal meeting the membership adopted a Constitution and extended a life membership to Walter Blair for services to the profession. Arlin Turner and M. Thomas Inge reported on the state scholarship in American Humor. The AHSA awards the Charlie Award for lifetime achievement in service to the AHSA and research in American humor. Past recipients are: Hamlin Hill, Henry Nash Smith, Louis J. Budd, Jack Rosenbalm, M. Thomas Inge, Joseph Alvarez, Michael Kiskis, David Sloane, Karen Kilcup, and Cameron Nickels.
The MLA Convention and American Literature Convention programs provide AHSA with annual forums and major events. The AHSA presents two sessions annually at both MLA and ALA conventions. Previous sessions have covered early humor, comics, graphic art, cross-cultural, cross-regional, Jewish, postmodernist, and political humor. The AHSA has sponsored joint conferences with the Mark Twain Society of America in Cancun, Mexico; New Orleans, Louisiana; and San Diego, California. We post Calls for Papers for conferences and journals in our Announcements section.
Both a scholarly journal, Studies in American Humor, and a bi-annual newsletter, To Wit, are published under AHSA auspices and are included in the cost of Membership. We maintain a list serve for discussions of humor called American Humor and a wiki for posting materials on teaching humor. Please see our page of links for information on resources and societies related to humor studies. For more information, see our Contact Information.