The pieces included in the 2022 “Year’s Work in American Humor” are wide ranging in perspective, covering everything from literature to stand-up, political rhetoric, memes, and podcasts, and raise questions of identity, gender, class, race, ethnicity, and power. Each piece reveals its own richness as it engages with the dynamic field of humor studies and refuses easy answers and sweeping “one-size-fits all” generalizations. Humor, like all rhetoric, arises from a complex interplay between speaker, audience, and message. Each of these pieces is interested in why and how humor works (or does not work) the way it does, and each makes a valued contribution to the ongoing critical conversation.

It has been a particularly bountiful year in Mark Twain studies, which saw the publication of two highly anticipated volumes. We begin with the third and last volume of Gary Scharnhorst’s massive biography, The Life of Mark Twain: The Final Years, 1891–1910...

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