Call for Contributions
Internet, Humor, and Nation in Latin/x America
Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste and Juan Poblete (Editors)
The internet is both a medium, the latest in a long line of previous mass media, and a space of trans-individuation and collective co-creation. As a media channel and a format, it tends to privilege certain forms, lengths, affects. As a commons, it is nurtured by all participants and shapes their affects and subjectivities in ways that have deep cultural, economic, political consequences inside and outside the nation. As a relatively de-territorialized space, it interacts in myriad ways with the forms of cultural and political territorialization of the nation. Finally, as a communicational infrastructure, the internet is tied in more classical ways to the geopolitics of information production and circulation.
Humor, on the other hand, is often based on mechanisms of superiority, relief, or incongruity. As theorized by Simon Critchley, for example, ethnic humor in a national context is an instance of superiority-based humor. It functions like “a secret code” that is shared by all those who belong to the ethnos and it produces a context and community-based ethos of superiority. This superiority is expressed in two ways: first, foreigners do not share our sense of humor or simply lack a sense of humor. Secondly, foreigners are themselves funny and worth laughing at. Thus, humor plays a key role in the signaling of boundaries of identity—who stands inside or outside significant creative spaces. With the nature of the internet and humor in mind, we are seeking contributions for a volume provisionally titled Internet, Humor, and Nation in Latin/x America.
We ask: if what we described above is the case in a nation-based context, how does the internet alter, confirm, heighten, or deflate the dynamics of humor? If internet-based humor is a relief, what is it a relief of or from? What are the syntactics and semantics specific to internet humor? What is the specific logic of internet-based humor? In the internet context, what is incongruous? When it comes to humor, what relationships does the audiovisual aspect of the internet enter into with its written side? What kinds of humor go viral and which don’t, and why? What role does humor itself play in the affective and economic structure of the internet?
We are seeking original articles for an edited collection on the role of internet humor in the definition of cultural, economic, political, and social national and transnational processes and critiques. Within this context, recent precedents on the topic of humor in modern media are Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan Morris’s Laughing Matters: Humor and American Politics in the Media Age (Routledge, 2008), which examines the role of humor in US politics—along with David Thorne’s The Internet is a Playground (Penguin, 2011), exemplifying a performative disposition—and articles like Luis Loya García’s “Latino Humor in Comparative Perspective.” In the spirit of Cualca (AR), País de Boludos (AR), Greg News (BR), Porta dos Fundos (BR), Actualidad Panamericana (CO), La Pulla (CO), Upsocl (CL), ElDeforma (MX), El Pulso de la República (MX), Gente Como Uno (PE), or Remezcla (US), we hope to contribute to the study of the interaction among humor, nation, and the internet. While much work to date in this field has focused on satire—see Paul Alonso’s Satiric TV in the Americas (Oxford, 2018), which discusses the impact of streaming—we are interested in all types of internet-based humor practices (cutting across formats and media).
The volume aims at exploring, from a multi and interdisciplinary open perspective, the diverse ways in which cyber-humor is created, produced, consumed, used, circulated, reproduced, reacted to. On the whole, we are interested in the significance of cyber-discourses and cyber-narratives in the context of local, national, regional, transnational, and global cultural production, commercial ventures, material culture, audiences, education, government policy, and community practices.
Potential contributors should send a 500 to 1,000 word abstract, a short bio & bibliography, and complete contact information to Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste (email@example.com) and Juan Poblete (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Deadline for abstracts: May 1, 2020
Notification of accepted abstracts by May 15, 2020
Deadline for complete selected essays: November 1, 2020
Language of submission: English
Contributors of selected essays must secure permission to reproduce any images.
Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste (Ph.D., Stony Brook University, 1996) is professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he teaches cultural studies. He is the author of Narrativas de representación urbana (Peter Lang, 1998) and Lalo Alcaraz: Political Cartooning in the Latino Community (University of Mississippi Press, 2017), and editor of Rockin’ Las Americas (with Deborah Pacini Hernández and Eric Zolov, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004), Redrawing the Nation (with Juan Poblete, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), Cumbia! (with Pablo Vila, Duke University Press, 2013), Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America (with Robert McKee Irwin and Juan Poblete, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and Sound, Image, and National Imaginary in the Construction of Latin/o American Identities (with Pablo Vila, Lexington Books, 2018). His articles on media and cultural theory have appeared in Hispania, Chasqui, National Identities, Objeto Visual, Revista de Estudios Colombianos, Revista Iberoamericana, Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios sobre la Historieta (Cuba), Cenizas (Mexico), and Film Quarterly, among others. In addition, he has published work in Imagination Beyond Nation (Pittsburgh, 1998), Imagining Our Americas (Duke, 2007), and Cultures of the City (Pittsburgh, 2010), among others. He is editor of two academic series: with Pablo Vila, he edits the Music, Culture, and Identity in Latin America series for Lexington Books; and with Juan Carlos Rodríguez, he publishes Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America for the University of Florida Press. In 2018, together with Robert McKee Irwin and Juan Poblete, he published the Spanish translation of Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America, titled Deportes y nacionalismo en América Latina (Cuarto Propio). He’s currently completing the translation of the forthcoming Travels to the Land of Oblivion: Modernity and Colombian Identity in the Work of Carlos Vives and La Provincia (Lexington Books) and, together with Juan Carlos Rodríguez, an edited volume titled Digital Humanities in Latin America (University of Florida Press). He’s also working on a coming monograph titled Vicious Muñequitos: Memory, Nation, and Violence in Latin/x American Comics.
Juan Poblete, Professor of Latin/o American Literature and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz. Author of La Escritura de Pedro Lemebel como proyecto cultural y político, (Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2019); Hacia una historia de la lectura y la pedagogía literaria en América Latina, (Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2019); and Literatura chilena del siglo XIX: entre públicos lectores y figuras autoriales (Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2003 and 2018); editor of Critical Latin American and Latino Studies (University of Minnesota Press, 2003) and New Approaches to Latin American Studies: Culture and Power (Routledge, 2017); and co-editor of Piracy and Intellectual Property in Latin America: Rethinking Creativity and the Common Good (Routledge, 2020), Precarity and Belonging: Labor, Migration, and Noncitizenship (Rutgers University Press, 2020), Andrés Bello (with Beatriz Gonzalez-Stephan, IILI, 2009), Redrawing The Nation: National Identities in Latin/o American Comics (with Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste, Palgrave, 2009), Desdén al infortunio: Sujeto, comunicación y público en la narrativa de Pedro Lemebel (with Fernando Blanco, Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2010), Sports and Nationalism in Latin America (with Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste and Robert McKee-Irwin, Palgrave, 2015), and Humor in Latin American Cinema (with Juana Suárez, Palgrave, 2015).