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sharon mccoy <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 15 Jan 2010 08:50:01 -0800
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The American Humor Studies Association seeks proposals for two sessions at
the American Literature Association Conference at the Hyatt Regency San
Francisco, Embarcadero Center, on May 27-30, 2010.

SESSION I:  With Laughter for All:  Toward a New Anthology of American
Humor (Roundtable)

For a long time, many humor scholar-teachers have been frustrated by the
lack of a humor anthology that serves our teaching needs.  Blair's survey
/anthology is a great work, but it is now 75 years old.  Cohen and
Dillingham have done the Southwest, but there are other American humor
traditions equally deep and rich; a comprehensive anthology would bring
together pieces that are currently difficult to find or simply inaccessible.

The question becomes, then, what should a useful contemporary American humor
survey anthology look like?  What pieces should be included and why?

Are there important special cases that deserve a new allocation of space?

How big should such an anthology be, and how might it be organized?

Does it maintain dedication to the print medium only?  How would it invite
future students to go further into the field and allow enough close study in
the classroom to contribute to their knowledge?

This roundtable seeks participants to offer an eight-to-ten-minute
presentation of their vision of what a contemporary American humor anthology
should cover, including a brief list of "must have" pieces.  Our goal
would be to try to find some consensus picks and start to gel a Table of

Please send queries or abstracts and contact information to:
David E. E. Sloane, University of New Haven, Session Chair

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SESSION 2:  Humor and the Great Divide (Panel)

Sometimes we seem alien to one another -- separated by the gulfs of gender,
 race, ethnicity, religion, politics, class, and/or region, the gaps between
us can seem too big to bridge.  Faced with such divisions, we often turn
to humor, either to help us across those divisions or else to reify th
eir boundaries. This panel seeks proposals that explore and analyze the
ways in which humor is used to define or re-define difference, to entrench
the boundaries or to shift the ground so that often-surprising laughter
carries us across the great divide.

Papers to be presented should run no longer than twenty minutes.
Please send 250-word abstracts or complete papers to:
Sharon McCoy, University of Georgia, Session Chair
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