American Humor Studies Association Has Recognized the Work of Notre Dame’s Perin Gürel

Perin Gürel , an associate professor of American studies and an associate professor in gender studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, has won the Jack Rosenbalm Prize for American Humor for her essay “Amerikan Jokes: The Transnational Politics of Unlaughter in Turkey,” which appeared in American Quarterly.

Awarded by the American Humor Studies Association, the prize is given for the best article on American humor by a pre-tenure scholar, graduate student, adjunct professor, or independent scholar published in a peer-reviewed academic journal or book in 2018 or 2019.

In announcing the prize, the judges wrote that the article was “beautifully written, demonstrated keen research skills, and introduced original arguments as it made insightful connections between humor and international diplomacy through its transnational approach to American studies.”

Dr. Gürel said she is thrilled to win the award — considered the top prize in the field of American humor studies. “It confirmed to me the importance of interdisciplinary, transnational research investigating the intersections of culture and politics,” she said. “I was also excited to have the official recognition because I felt it gave my personal interest in jokes — especially bilingual jokes and anti-jokes or ‘dad jokes’ — a scholarly veneer.”

Dr. Gürel, who was born and raised in Turkey, came to the United States to complete a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate in American studies at Yale University.

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