CFP: American Humor Studies Association in Austin, TX (June 18-20, 2020)

American Humor Studies Association

The Comedy and Humor Studies SIG of SCMS


“Comedy/Humor” will be held on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin from June 18-20, 2020. The conference will feature paper panels and roundtables on all aspects of American humor, American comedy, and all thing and topics in between.

Please send proposals to [email protected] by February 3, 2020. Notifications will be sent by March 20. Please feel free to contact the conference organizers with any questions at [email protected].

PAPERS: Proposals for paper presentations of 15-17 minutes should consist of a 250-word proposal and A/V requests. 

ROUNDTABLES: Proposals for organized roundtables of 8-10 minute statements from each participant with significant time for discussion.  Include an overview of 100  words for the overall theme, a brief description of each presenter’s topic, a proposed Chair (not required), and A/V requests. 

NOTE: you may participate in one roundtable and give one paper.  

WORKS IN PROGRESS: Participant will submit a working draft of a book chapter or journal article one month before the conference for posting on conference website.  Participants will sign up to read and discuss work in progress during a lunch or breakfast session, with food provided. 

Note: you may submit a “Works in Progress” proposal and a paper or roundtable proposal, but the topics should be different.

ARTISTIC PERFORMANCES: We are willing to consider approaches to humor studies that incorporate non-traditional modes.  We are also willing to facilitate a performance or screening to encourage discussion.  Email with questions.

We welcome proposals for paper presentations on any topic related to American humor and/or American comedy, 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.):

  • the relationship between comedy and humor as conceptual categories, along with all other related questions of theory and terminology 
  • comedy in all its forms (TV, film, stand-up, podcasts, sketch, improv,    theater, improv, etc.)
  •  literary humor (novels, tales, sketches, poetry, children’s books, YA, science fiction, magazines, etc. from all times and places)
  • visual humor, comics, and graphic narratives
  • podcasts, internet humor, memes, and other new media
  • humor and gender, race, sexuality, class, religion, etc.
  • satire, ridicule, parody, wit and other forms of humor
  • humor in “serious” contexts or works
  • humor in regional, national, transnational, international, and other spatial contexts 

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 Grant” 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. 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.  

The conference registration fee will be $40 for graduate students, adjunct faculty, and independent scholars, and $75 for tenure-track faculty members.