M. Thomas Inge First Book Workshops
with American Humor Studies Association
M. Thomas Inge was one of the founding members of the American Humor Studies Association in 1974 and began its first newsletter with Larry Mintz, American Humor, An Interdisciplinary Newsletter. He is widely known for his research in southwestern humor, Sut Lovingood, and Mark Twain and received his Charlie Award for lifetime achievement in the field on May 30, 1996. He leads us by the example of his professionalism, his generosity towards mentoring, and his humanity – a model scholar in precept and example and apropos namesake for this initiative.
These workshops are designed to provide community and support for junior scholars who are in the process of preparing their first book manuscript for publication.
For junior scholars, the process of moving the dissertation to a manuscript is often one riddled with uncertainties with varying levels of useful guidance coming from their department/program or home institutions. The objectives of the first book workshop are manifold: to build a community of humor studies scholars; to connect junior scholars to experts in the field who can discuss a range of issues related to the publication process; and to support humor studies scholarship while connecting the people generating it.
The cycle of workshops will last one year with an allowance to continue for a second year if desired. Selected participants will meet virtually five times (two hours each) throughout the academic year starting in July and concluding in May. AHSA leadership will establish a calendar of meetings, create the virtual space, and organize guests for workshops. Participants are welcome to meet additional times for writing support with one another but such decisions can be made by the cohort assembled. During all meetings, a portion of the time will be devoted to open discussion of issues or concerns related to revising the dissertation and about the publishing process. The remainder of the meeting will include focused dissemination of helpful information, including but not limited to:
- Converting the dissertation to a book
- Searching for and finding the right press
- Writing the book proposal
- Responding to reader reports
- From manuscript to book: copy edits, design, indexing, permissions, marketing
Established humor studies scholars and editors from presses known for publishing in the field will drop in to offer best practices and answer questions. We will consider book projects in all stages of development—from initial conceptualization to those under contract—and should be on any aspect of humor/comedy—broadly defined.
Because this program seeks to build a community of scholars, failure to attend meetings will result in removal from the program. Likewise, scholars may not renew participation if they have not been attending the meetings.
Junior scholars participating will receive a 1-year membership to the AHSA (renewable for an additional year). We encourage recent graduates to apply but everyone who is eligible may participate. To apply, please send a CV, book proposal (250-500 words), and an outline of the project by April 1, 2021 to email@example.com.