CFP: "Humor in American Literature and Culture" Panel at the American Literature Association Conference 2023

Samantha Silver's picture
Call for Papers
January 10, 2023
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Theatre & Performance History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Literature, Composition & Rhetoric, American History / Studies

Call for Papers – American Humor Studies Association Panel at the
American Literature Association 34th Annual Conference 

"Humor in American Literature and Culture"
Organized by the American Humor Studies Association

The American Humor Studies Association welcomes papers addressing the role of comedy and humor in shaping American literature and culture. Whether humor is understood as a social corrective, as for Bergson (1911), or has the potential for social protest, as Bakhtin (1965) argues, humor has been a rich topic for examining American literature and culture. Recent works in humor studies (Pérez 2022; Sienkiewicz and Marx 2022) have located the work of racist humor in upholding white supremacy and fueling far-right media discourse. Other scholars see in humor the potential for satire and stand-up comedy to open up Black feminist and other minoritarian possibilities (Morgan 2020, Wood 2021). Never “just a joke,” humor—whether fueling white supremacy or enabling community and social protest—is a vital site for the exploration of American identity, race, gender, and politics.

Following the American Humor Studies Association’s commitment to addressing the historical, cultural, political, and material dimensions of humor and comedy, this panel welcomes various approaches in the fields of media and cultural studies, literary history and analysis, critical race theories, performance studies, rhetorical studies, and ethnic studies. Papers may examine a range of texts including but not limited to: literature, film, stand up, television, and social media.

The study of comedy and humor invites complex theoretical approaches and areas of interest, including:

  • pre- and post-pandemic production and reception of humor
  • the pleasure and power of humor
  • humor and affect
  • humor and identity
  • satire and political comedy

Conference Information:
The American Literature Association’s 34th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA on May 25-28, 2023. For further information about the conference please consult the ALA website at

Submission Guidelines for this Panel:
Please email your submissions for this panel to the AHSA as a word doc or pdf, including a 300-word abstract, your paper title, name, affiliation, and a brief bio to Samantha Silver at Please use the subject line “ALA Submission” in your emails and submit abstracts by January 10, 2023. 

Contact Info: 

Samantha Silver
​P​hD Candidate, Department of American Studies
​George Washington University
​Graduate Representative, American Humor Studies Association

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