CFP: “COMEDY/HUMOR”: American Humor Studies Association Conference


Call for Participants

Sponsored by:

  • American Humor Studies Association
  • The Comedy and Humor Studies SIG of SCMS


From July 10-12, 2023, Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York will host a Comedy/Humor Studies conference. This will bring together interdisciplinary perspectives on humor and comedy from media and cultural studies, the arts, literary history and analysis, critical race theories, performance studies, contemporary feminism(s), rhetorical studies, ethnic studies, and other approaches and perspectives in the humanities and social sciences.

The mission of the conference and the AHSA is to foster and stimulate vibrant exchange and dynamic conversations among scholars, and as such welcomes scholars, writers, and performers. The interdisciplinary nature of the conference captures our larger commitment to a deep engagement with the historical, cultural, political, and material dimensions of humor and comedy–within an American context and in the global imagination. We welcome papers with an expansive range of defining “America”–including transnational, international, and cross-cultural perspectives on humor.

The conference invites proposals for papers, performances, works-in-progress, and roundtables on all aspects of comedy and humor, and all things and topics in between.

NOTE: all graduate students are eligible for the Constance Rourke Prize to help defray cost of attendance.



Proposals for paper presentations of 15 minutes should consist of a 250-word proposal and A/V requests in the body of an email (which makes everyone’s life easier).


Proposals for organized roundtables will consist of 5-7 minute statements from each participant with significant time for discussion. If you are interested in being on one of the following roundtables, please send an email with your proposed topic.

We are looking for participants to join us to discuss the the following topics:

  • What is the future of the study of comedy and humor in America?
  • Transnational flows of humor/comedy
  • The pleasure and power of humor
  • Humor and identity politics
  • Humor and political ideologies

***NOTE: you may participate in one roundtable and present one paper.


Participants will submit a working draft of a book chapter or journal article one month before the conference for posting on the 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.


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. Please email with questions.


Please send proposals directly in the body of an email to [email protected] by January 27th, 2023. Notifications will be sent by March 10. Please feel free to contact the conference organizers with any questions at [email protected].

We welcome proposals for paper presentations on any topic related to American comedy and/or American humor, broadly conceived. Scholars are invited to present research on any of the following topics (or others related to humor, comedy, laughter, etc.):

  • the relationship between comedy and humor as conceptual categories, along with all other related questions of theory and terminology
  • humor in regional, national, transnational, international, and other spatial contexts
  • comedy in all its forms (TV, film, stand-up, podcasts, sketch, improv, theater, etc.)
  • humor and humorous exchanges in social and everyday contexts, organizations, etc.
  • literary humor (novels, tales, sketches, poetry, children’s books, YA, science fiction, magazines, etc.)
  • visual humor, comics, and graphic narratives
  • internet humor, memes, and other new media
  • humor and gender, race, sexuality, class, religion, ability, etc.
  • humor and political ideologies (conservatism, far-right, alt-right, fascism, nationalism, white supremacy, liberalism, neoliberalism, libertarianism, socialism, communism, anarchism, etc.)
  • satire, ridicule, parody, wit, charged and other forms of humor
  • humor in “serious” contexts or works

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 tenured and tenure-track faculty members.

Conference Committee

  • J Finley, Pomona College
  • Beck Krefting, Skidmore College
  • Raul Perez, University of La Verne
  • Kriszta Pozsonyi, Cornell University
  • Adrien Sebro, University of Texas, Austin
  • Evelyn Shih, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Tracy Wuster, University of Texas, Austin