Call for Proposals: Judith Yaross Lee Publication Grant in American Humor Studies

Eligibility: Graduate Students working on humor/comedy studies in a broad American context;; scholars who received their Ph.D. in 2021 are eligible, if space

Application: please send a brief description of your project and your goals for publication, as well as a CV to ahsa.humorstudies@gmail.com by June 22nd, 2021.

Reimbursement: $100 + 1-year membership; granted upon submission of article to a journal/edited book

End goal: finished article ready for submission; not required to submit to Studies in American Humor but very welcome to do so; the goal is to have the article ready for submission within 3-6 months

Description: The goal of the Judith Yaross Lee Grant is to provide graduate students with professional guidance in publishing an article on humor studies.  The article can be at any early phase—from conceptualization to drafted—and should be on any aspect of American humor/comedy—broadly defined.  Each awardee will be matched by the AHSA Governing Board with a mentor in their area.

For graduate students, the process of planning, drafting, revising, submitting, re-revising, etc. is often one of trial-and-error, with varying levels of guidance coming from Departments and/or advisors.  Scholars working in humor/comedy often work with advisors who are not trained in the area.  Thus, the AHSA has identified mentorship of emerging scholars as a way to support and build the humor/comedy studies field.

The mentorship process will be defined by each group, but in general it should follow these guidelines:

  1. a general meeting of all advisees to introduce themselves and for the organizers to introduce the program.  We will discuss general advice and have a conversation to set up goals.
  1. once assigned to a mento: a phone or video meeting to define the current state of the project, to provide advice on the publication process, and to define some deadlines and a date for a future talk. Pair should discuss possible journals and how to tailor for an audience, as well as discuss sources and recommendations.
  1. thereafter: mentor and mentee should check in with each other at agreed upon times, and mentee should ask questions or discuss concerns as they go.
  1. draft: once there is a draft, the mentor can read and give advice on how to improve before submitting for publication.
  1. submit; send proof of submission to Tracy Wuster for grant award
  1. revise and submit: once the article has been submitted, the pair will discuss any feedback and what next steps to take.
  1. publication: celebrate!

We will open this up for submissions right away.  The goal would be to start this summer, so submission turnaround would be short and matches would be made soon.  The goal would be to support approximately 10 scholars (more if voted by governing board).  If there are more, selection would be made using the following criteria:

  1. subject of article is clearly focused on American humor, broadly defined
  2. current graduate students
  3. scholars who received Ph.D. in 2021

History of the Award

Started in 2020 by the American Humor Studies Association, the award is named to recognize the contributions of Judith Yaross Lee to the AHSA and the field of humor studies.  In addition to myriad books and articles on American humor, Judith has taken an active role in mentoring and promoting humor scholars.  In its first year, the Lee Grant was awarded to 15 scholars working on articles.

Judith’s bio from her Charlie Award:

Judith Yaross Lee, 2017

Judith Yaross Lee took courses on Mark Twain and American humor with Hamlin Hill at the University of Chicago and never looked back. Her yet-unpublished dissertation, To Amuse and Appall: Black Humor in American Fiction (1986), ran too ambitiously from Melville to Philip Roth, but taught tenacity in the ten-year process of finishing it after Ham decamped for New Mexico. She has since published five books–including the monographs Garrison Keillor: A Voice of America(1992), Defining New Yorker Humor (2000), and Twain’s Brand: Humor in Contemporary American Culture(2012)–as well as sixty essays, and four special journal issues, most notably the landmark triple issue of Studies in American Humor, Mad Magazine and Its Legacies (2014), co-edited with John Bird.  As editor of Studies in American Humor (2013-17), she built on her experiences as associate editor of The Markham Review (1978-89) and founding coeditor of Explorations in Media Ecology (2001-04) Lee is Distinguished Professor of  Communication Studies, Charles E. Zumkehr Professor of Rhetoric & Public Culture, and Director of the Central Region Humanities Center at Ohio University, where she has taught since 1990; in 2016 she was Fulbright Senior Professor of American Culture at Leiden University in The Netherlands.  She received her Charlie Award on May 26, 2017.

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