"Sociable Sam: Mark Twain Among Friends"
Thursday 26th October, at 5:30 p.m. for 6:00 p.m
Leather Room at University House, Professors Walk, University of Melbourne
Judith Yaross Lee, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies
Prof. Judith Yaross Lee is an award-winning teacher and scholar who serves Ohio University as Professor of Rhetoric & Public Culture in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. An interdisciplinary Americanist, she studies popular rhetorics at the intersection of media, social, and intellectual history. Her work reflects a transnational view of American culture as a site of ideological contention born of contrast with other places, especially in Europe; she relies on rigorous archival and bibliographic research to build contexts for formal, genetic, and rhetorical criticism.
Internationally recognized as an authority on American literary humor from Mark Twain to the present, Lee also has expertise in historical and contemporary rhetorics of popular science and technology, including electronic media, as well as in graphic, radio, and performance humor. Always she examines individual examples in the context of larger cultural concerns. Her newest book, Twain’s Brand: Humor in Contemporary American Culture (2012), shows how recent American humor in many media—from contemporary fiction, stand-up comedy, and television satire to comic strips, graphic novels, and animated cartoons–offers insights into the post-industrial culture created by the information economy. Mark Twain invented the earliest global comic brand for this economy, and contemporary humorists quite literally trade on major hallmarks of his brand: the performed self, the so-called “infantile citizen,” satire of American empire, and humor as a post-industrial commodity.
During October and November, Prof Lee will be visiting Australia and Tasmania following in the footsteps of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Henry Morton Stanley, the African explorer who helped Clemens organize his tour through Australasia. While her primary goal is research, Judith is keen to meet people en route.
Judith's husband, Prof Joseph Slade, who will join Judith on this adventure, is himself a distinguished an Americanist and Fulbright alumnus. We anticipate that Prof Slade and/or Prof Lee will speak at our upcoming Fulbright Alumni Conference on November 18th.
Please RSVP to Elizabeth Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org> ASAP, because space is limited in the intimate Leather Room.
Note: There is no charge for attending these events, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor's Office. The Alumni Association is pleased to cover the costs of the restaurant dinner for special guests and current Fulbright Scholars. All other guests are asked to pay for their own dinners, please, if they choose to stay on after the meeting in the Leather Room.