European Association for Urban History (EAUH), 13th International Conference, Helsinki, Finland, August 24 – 27, 2016
“Satire and the City: Representations of Cities and Urban Life in the Comical Press (18th – 20th centuries)”
Deadline: October 31, 2015
The recent attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo tragically brought the satirical press and its agency to the forefront of the political debate. Comical newspapers have long played an important role in commenting and testing cultural and socio-political practices. Caricature and satirical print culture date back to the Enlightenment, however, it was in the nineteenth century when it became an urban phenomenon and an object of mass consumption due to the advances in reproduction techniques. Across European and Western cities the comical press became a dominant form of popular culture and was, ultimately, an antecedent to twentieth-century forms of entertainment and socio-political critique like comics and cartoons.
While scholarship has focused on print culture’s relation to social satire and class, or the stylistics of caricature, the relation between comical journals and the city have received less attention. As examined in the volume Rire en Ville, rire de la ville (Histoire Urbaine, no. 31, 2011) humor sheds light on how urban identities and modernization were negotiated in everyday life. Thus, we propose a more nuanced look at the subject of satire and the city through its most far-reaching, popular, and metropolitan vehicle: the comical press. Not only were comical periodicals an essentially urban phenomenon on account of their methods of distribution and places of production, but also in what relates to its central subject matter, the vicissitudes of urban life.
This session will explore how the caricatures reproduced in the comical press articulated ideas of urbanity, place and lived experience, and changing socio-spatial relations in modern cities throughout the eighteen to the twentieth centuries. The purpose of this session is to examine the satirical press and its ability to comment, shape and test cultural boundaries, social conventions and power relations. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches that explore images of street scenes and city dwellers; the presence of women in public space; issues of class, urban leisure and consumption; the critique of urban projects; everyday practices like strolling and window-shopping or other significant themes of urban reality. Papers may also look at representations of place and the articulation of cultural memory through humor, such as the reworking of urban archetypes and customs or the treatment of places of memory that were bound to urban identity. We welcome both specific and comparative studies that establish connections between cities and the visual tropes used to express concerns regarding urban life.
Session organizers: Paulo Jorge Fernandes, Universidade Nova de Lisboa,
Portugal; Vanesa Rodríguez-Galindo, UNED, Madrid
Deadline paper proposals: October 31, 2015
Notification of paper acceptance: December 15, 2015
Abstracts of paper proposals should not exceed 300 words. To submit a paper proposal, registration in the conference management system is required: https://www.conftool.pro/
Paper proposals and full texts can only by submitted online, via the EAUH2016 website: https://eauh2016.net/