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CFP: Mad Magazine at ALA 2012
San Francisco, 24-27 2012

Special panel on Mad Magazine

Seeking one or two more papers for a special panel on Mad Magazine for the American Literature Association conference in San Francisco, May 24-27, 2012; so far, the panel has papers on the music of Mad and on Dave Berg's satire. Seeking proposals on any topic related to Mad Magazine, its humor, its cultural and historical importance, etc.

Please send a proposal, a title, and your affiliation to: (John Bird). A firm commitment to attend ALA is needed if the special session is selected.

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Call for Papers
AHSA at MLA 2013

Boston, 3-6 January 2013

“Laughing to Keep from Crying”

The American Humor Studies Association invites papers addressing the complex relationships between pain and humor. Theoretical submissions are encouraged so long as they are thoroughly grounded in primary texts or performances. Some possible questions to explore: How does humor function in regard to the painful topic? Does finding humor in a painful situation confer any sort of responsibility on the part of the humorist? Is it possible to go too far, and how do we draw those lines? Does laughter generated in this way make us part of a community of shared experience or mark our distance from it? Is it an act of hopelessness or aggression or a defense mechanism against these? Do we, as a Robert Heinlein character once asserted, “laugh . . . because it’s the only thing that will make it stop hurting?” Or is this a naïve perspective? Does explaining the joke, or delineating the pain behind it, spoil the joke or make it more powerful? Are there productive ways to avoid binaries when thinking about pain and humor?

250-500 word abstract by 15 March 2012
Sharon D. McCoy

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CFP: Thirty-Fifth Colloquium of Literature and Film
West Virginia University
September 13-15 2012

Theme: The Language of Humor in Literature and Film

We are seeking submissions about the many ways that authors and filmmakers use humor in their works. Analysis may be about works in any language and time period and presented in English, French, German, or Spanish. Topics include but are not limited to: Irony, parody, comedy, political satire, great national humorist and their works, theories of humor and laughter, challenges of translating humor, history of humor, humor in minority Literatures, humor as resistance or subversion, humor of ethnic and national identities, countering xenophobia and prejudice through humor, comics cartoons and graphic novels, gendered approaches to humor, humor in popular culture, the semiotics of humor, stylistics of humor, conversation analysis, dialect stereotype and humor, puns and word play: liguistic ambiguity in humorous Literature, pedagogical approached to humor in Literature and film.

Submit 300 word proposals for paper and/or panels by April 1, 2012 to WVUCOLL@MAIL.WVU.EDU The program will allow 20 minutes for the reading of each paper with additional time for discussion. Include a cover letter containing the proposal's title, complete contact information, and institutional affiliation. Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics/205 Chitwood Hall/Morgantown, WV 26506/304-293-5121

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Call for Papers, Hawthorne’s Humor

A special issue of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review is being planned on Hawthorne’s humor, to be published in fall, 2013. Essays (no longer than 9,000 words, WORD doc files) are invited for consideration on the following topics, although the list is not meant to be exhaustive:

1) Hawthorne’s humor compared to that of other nineteenth-century writers (e.g., Irving, Poe, Fanny Fern, Twain)
2) Hawthorne’s self-deprecating humor, especially of his work (in his introductions to his fiction; his notebooks; his letters)
3) Humor in his children’s stories; humorous depictions of his own children.
4) Hawthorne’s dark, macabre, or acerbic humor; Hawthorne’s Gothic humor
5) Hawthorne’s comic characters; Hawthorne’s caricatures
6) Hawthorne’s romance theory and comic excursions enacting that theory
7) Hawthorne’s philosophy of life and humor
8) Hawthorne’s injection of humor in his formulation of Puritan history
9) Hawthorne’s sketches and the humor of the everyday
10) Hawthorne’s humorous assessments of European life during his travels abroad
11) Hawthorne’s theory of writing (or his attacks on the marketplace) and humor
12) Hawthorne's humor and its relationship to psychoanalytic, philosophical, and aesthetic theories of humor
13) Hawthorne's humor and its relationship to nineteenth-century gender roles
14) Parodies and uses of Hawthorne and his works in comic strips, cartoons, and graphic narratives and how they reflect on his reputation as a great American author

Deadline for submission of completed papers is Nov. 15, 2012. Deadline for final revised submissions (of accepted essays) is April 30, 2013. Queries are welcome. Send essays to the guest editor, Prof. M. Thomas Inge at and to Prof. Monika Elbert, Editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, at

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