New Geographies of Visual Satire

Ros Holmes's picture
Call for Papers
May 14, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Fine Arts, Popular Culture Studies

Sir Michael Dummett Lecture Theatre, Christ Church, Oxford, Friday 15th June, 2018
Convenors: Dr. Julia Langbein and Dr. Ros Holmes

This conference seeks to broaden the examination of visual satire beyond the contours of existing scholarship. How can we develop new approaches to parody, pastiche and caricature appropriate to a truly global art history? It has often been claimed that satire plays an important role in a healthy democracy and a vital role in an endangered one. How does it respond to the exigencies of a so-called ‘post-truth’ society? For too long, academics have seen visual satire as means of speaking “truth-to-power,” of indicating a moral or ethical True North. Perhaps our contemporary experience of the uncertain compass of “post-truth” politics can loosen old coordinates and inspire new historical inquiry. How has the rise of new media affected the ability of satire to confront ethical ambiguity and authorial inauthenticity? How have new means of image-circulation reversed centre-periphery dynamics and the flow of comic imagery from the West to the ‘rest’? We invite proposals that examine both the historical legacy of satire as well as its contemporary relevancy. Papers on any period are welcome, as are Early Career Scholars and Postgraduate students. 

Topics may include (but are not limited to): 

* The circulation of satiric images; their reception and repurposing 

* Problems of translation and misinterpretation 

* Non-traditional comic formats, new image technologies 

* The comic image in the private sphere: intimacy, sociability, shibboleths, amateur production 

* Intentionality and authorship, the unstable image, the accidentally comic 

* Oppositional comic imagery, satire and censorship, ethics and activism 

* The comic image as anti-intellectual object: irrationality, resistance to theory or historical inquiry 


Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to both and by the 14th May.


Contact Info: 

Dr. Julia Langbein (University of Oxford)

Dr. Ros Holmes  (University of Oxford)