Feminist Humor and the Future of Fumerism

Organized by the American Humor Studies Association

Call for Papers – AHSA Sponsored Panel at the ALA 34th Annual Conference

Feminist Humor and the Future of Fumerism

Organized by the American Humor Studies Association

Feminist Humor and the Future of Fumerism

This panel on Female/Feminist humor looks at the relationship of humor to feminist thought while interrogating the category of female humor itself.  The “fumerist,” a term dubbed by comedian Kate Clinton to designate the feminist humorist, captures the ambiguity of celebrating female difference while expressing underlying feelings of rage or fuming mad. Seen as too smart, too sassy, too sexy, and too strident, female and feminist humorists have been resisted and overlooked by predominantly male critics with preconceptions of what is worthy of laughter. Today, they are reclaiming their voices in disrupting social norms by expressing the joy as well as the fury of laughter.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following: the relation of female humor to intersectional analyses of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and ability; feminist theories of the carnivalesque and unruly laughter; Black feminist thought and minoritized humor; LGBTQ+ humor and the gendered and sexual politics of laughter and power; feminist affect theory and the relation of humor to joy/pleasure;  post-feminism and humor studies and/or feminist critique of anti-feminist humor;  Marxist feminist theory and the relation of humor to material culture, the political economy, and social and political change; psychoanalytic theory and a critique of Freudian tendentious/sexist jokes; female humor and the poetics of irony, satire, and wit; interdisciplinary approaches to feminist comedy studies in literature, media, film, performance, and popular culture. 

Conference Information:

The American Literature Association’s 34th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA on May 25-28, 2023. For further information about the conference please consult the ALA website at www.americanliteratureassociation.org

Submission Guidelines:

Please email your submissions for this panel to the AHSA as a word doc or pdf, including a 300-word abstract, your paper title, name, affiliation, and a brief bio to Sabrina Fuchs Abrams at Sabrina.FuchsAbrams@esc.edu. Please use the subject line “ALA AHSA Submission” in your emails and submit abstracts by January 10, 2023.


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