Call for Papers: “Satirical Images: Between Sociability, Animosity, and Entertainment”
Kathryn Desplanque and Jessica Fripp
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference
Pittsburgh, March 31-April 3, 2016
The use of graphic satire proliferated in the eighteenth century, from the caricature and portrait charges of the Grand Tour (Pier Leoni Ghezzi, Thomas Patch, François-André Vincent), to political caricature on the continent and in England, to the verbal-visual puns of broadside imagery and street cries series, to the complex allegories that criticized and supported the French Revolution. These different genres of graphic satire are difficult to reconcile because they vary widely in tone: some are oppositional, others are sociable, and others still seemed destined primarily for entertainment. Scholarship on eighteenth-century graphic satire has privileged oppositional and political imagery, neglecting the prolific sociable, amusing, and cultural caricatures whose imagery and tone are often more challenging to decode. Recent scholarship, such as The Efflorescence of Caricature (2010), The Saint-Aubin ‘Livre de caricatures’ (2012), L’Art de la caricature (2014), and Ann Bermingham’s 2015 Clifford Lecture, “Coffee-House Characters and British Visual Humor at the End of the Eighteenth Century,” has begun to bridge persistent gaps in the study of graphic satire, putting into conversation formerly disparate genres of satirical imagery. This panel seeks papers that nuance, overturn, or refine the categories applied to graphic satire—oppositional versus entertaining; political versus cultural; sociable versus slanderous. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to: satire (especially political satire) in the light of sociability; how the circulation of these images through commercial or social exchange relates to their format, including tone or medium; and how satire informs our understanding of relationships between individuals and groups, such as friendship, enmity, rivalry, or camaraderie.